back to article Ancient Ore Crusher or KillBot 2000? NASA gets ready to pick a name for its Mars 2020 Rover

NASA has announced the finalists for its Mars 2020 Rover naming and the options are as worthy as one might expect. Around 28,000 essays were apparently submitted, from which bigwigs whittled down these nine: Promise, Fortitude, Courage, Vision, Tenacity, Clarity, Endurance, Ingenuity and Perseverance. Because we are El Reg, …

  1. Neil Barnes Silver badge

    Show some spirit!

    (too soon?)

    1. ArrZarr Silver badge

      Re: Show some spirit!

      Give a thought to Pathfinder - lasted three months looking at the same boring scenery then gets dug up by Mark Watney and abandoned again!

  2. Cuddles

    Rover McRoverFace

    I feel Buggy McBugface rolls off the tongue a bit better.

    1. Wade Burchette

      Re: Rover McRoverFace

      I was thinking Marsy McMarsface

  3. Captain Hogwash

    KillBot 2000

    Surely by now people are suggesting KillBot 3000?

    The article alludes to my preference: TrundleBot 9000.

    1. MiguelC Silver badge

      Re: KillBot 2000

      KillBot 20-20 sounds righ now...

    2. Korev Silver badge

      Re: KillBot 2000

      What about Sir Killalot?

      Or even Sgt Bash?

      1. ArrZarr Silver badge

        Re: KillBot 2000

        I can see the headlines now.

        Sgt Bash? More like Sgt Crash!

        Sgt Bish Sgt Bash Sgt Bosh.

        Bash Bashfully Bashes Boulder.

  4. SeanEllis

    Too, too obvious.

    How can the 2020 rover possibly be called anything other than "Vision".

    1. John Robson Silver badge

      Re: Too, too obvious.

      Has to be Hindsight

      Although I'm thinking that a acronym of titsup might be appropriate (given the woeful landing record on the red planet).

      Terra's Independent Travelling Science Unit Prototype?

      1. katrinab Silver badge
        Paris Hilton

        Re: Too, too obvious.

        Something along the same lines as the Paper Aircraft Released Into Space, or the Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator?

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    It should be called "Spike", with, of course, the entry and descent module being called "The Bebop"

    1. My other car WAS an IAV Stryker
      Thumb Up

      Re: Tank!

      Love that anime, especially the soundtracks.

      However, I recently binged on ELP (Emerson, Lake & Palmer) and wonder if their "Tank" is better.

      Either way, you just can't go wrong with a tank, be it a song, space rover, or earth armored vehicle (see the handle, people!).

  6. Morrie Wyatt

    If the El Reg is anything to go by.

    Jeph Jaques seems to have an appropriate character to name it after.

  7. Antony Furneaux


    Lets see how many ironies we can load it with.

  8. Steve K


    BFR-9000 (although Mr. Musk may have laid claim to that one already...)

  9. Ugotta B. Kiddingme

    Curiosity 2: Nuclear Boogaloo

    just because.

    1. Rich 11 Silver badge

      Re: Curiosity 2: Nuclear Boogaloo

      Curiosity -1: The Prequel

  10. Michael H.F. Wilkinson Silver badge


    has my vote, but then it might develop a pain in all the diodes down its left side

    I'd better be going

    1. Vulch

      Re: Marvin

      Is that better or worse than an earth shattering kaboom?

      1. The Oncoming Scorn Silver badge

        Re: Marvin

        Well he was able to survive a 13 mile fall through an atmosphere, a further mile through solid rock & still function (Much to his despair).

  11. Martin Gregorie

    The first Mars or Luna rover...

    ... that has a serious regolith- or marsdust-moving blade should be called Killdozer.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The first Mars or Luna rover...

      I'd call it R. Jeremy, but only if it's got a big drill.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Clarity, Endurance

    Clarice for short.

    Must be said in an Anthony Hopkins voice though.

  13. katrinab Silver badge
    Paris Hilton

    Marsy McMarsface

    obviously. What else could it possibly be called?

    1. katrinab Silver badge

      Re: Marsy McMarsface

      Or maybe MEGHAN

      Mars Engine Gliding and Hovering Above [something]

      1. Geoff May (no relation)

        Re: Marsy McMarsface


        It's about the only thing beginning with N relating to Mars in some way I could find with a quick search.

        1. et tu, brute?

          Re: Marsy McMarsface



  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Ok, ok... we go...I'll start.

    Schlock and Ore.

    Rock Knocker (Sorry kids, it's not Mark Hamill).

    Whole Lotta Hole.


    Rock Puppet.


    Sher-rock Drone.

  15. ClockworkOwl

    In the same Spirit...

    Spirit Opportunity Curiosity


    That is all... :)

    1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      Re: In the same Spirit...

      Surely that should be Spirit, Opportunity, Curiosity, Arrest.

      Or How I Got My Criminal Record. The spirit in question, of course, being rum.

  16. Terje

    Opportunity is just refusing to answer!

    Make sure not to land it in the opposite side of the planet, maybe some upgrades to automatically run away from other rovers may be prudent as well!

  17. Alister

    After curiosity, and opportunity, we should consider apathy, indifference and indolence.

    1. Aussie Doc


      They considered 'Apathy' but nobody could be bothered.

  18. Imhotep

    Is there an AOC in the house? AOC?

    Ancient Ore Crusher = AOC, the nom de guerre of a member of the House.

    Someone trying to slip one by there?

  19. packrat

    scarface mars face scarface. shaken, not stirrups.

  20. packrat

    sca-rface; mars scarface. shaken, not stirrups.

  21. Alistair

    Curiosity is still going

    We should see if it outlives things and call the next rover The Cat.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The Diggy-Duggy Buggy?

  23. Mark 85

    Name it something simple


    1. Robert Helpmann??

      Re: Name it something simple

      Simple and descriptive: Alone.

  24. Robert Helpmann??
    Thumb Up

    Poll Participation Map

    I'm tempted to make a joke about the fact that just under 3000 votes are registered as being placed from Russia, but I actually think it is a good thing that the international community participates.

    1. somini

      Re: Poll Participation Map

      I'd like to know why 20k Turks voted for it, but only 7k in the UK.

      1. Is It Me

        Re: Poll Participation Map

        Maybe they are mechanical turks...

        1. Sambonge

          Re: Poll Participation Map

          I think we need to think of an African name like for example we can call it Nelson Mandela

  25. TeeCee Gold badge


    That would imply it's armed. In which case its first task should be to find the Mysteron base and attack it.

    No reason, we don't need provocation here.

    1. zuckzuckgo

      Re: KillBot?

      ThrillBot then?

      1. Sambonge

        Re: KillBot?

        What about Nelson Mandela

  26. Chris G


    See title, listen to his music;

    Some '80s blues would make Mars even cooler.

  27. Unep Eurobats

    Obligatory Bowie references

    Diamond Dog Drill.

    Or: Ziggy Marsdust and the Pesky Spiders from Earth that Stowed Away in the Glove Compartment.

  28. Christoph
    Black Helicopters

    Maybe the US Space Force will insist it be named All Your Planet Are Belong To Us

  29. A Nother Handle


    Robots on Mars and nobody has referenced the ABC Warriors? For shame.

  30. Kuba777


    Rednose name would be ideal. It going to sniff red planet

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    A Roger Zelazny reference - Ancient Ore Crusher - bravo!!

    For those not in the know that comes from a short story called "For a Breath I Tarry".

    Read it - it'll improve your life.

    1. NullNix

      Re: A Roger Zelazny reference - Ancient Ore Crusher - bravo!!

      Strongly seconded. Hypnotic, brilliant, and quite entirely unexpected in this position.

      This name has my vote. (If it were counted, which it won't be.)

      1. Corwin_X

        Re: A Roger Zelazny reference - Ancient Ore Crusher - bravo!!

        Try "Comes Now the Power" - easily available online since most of his stories are out of copyright.

        Have a box of tissues to hand.

        1. NullNix

          Re: A Roger Zelazny reference - Ancient Ore Crusher - bravo!!

          Uh... _Comes Now the Power_ was written in 1966. It's a very long way from being out of copyright.

          1. Corwin_X

            Re: A Roger Zelazny reference - Ancient Ore Crusher - bravo!!

            Ah ... yes. I mixed up the 1842 act (42 years for date of original publication) with the later acts that start a 50-70 year period from the author's *death*, not publication.

            Apologies for misleading anyone here.

            I revise my recommendation to buying "The Last Defender of Camelot", an anthology book of Zelazny's short stories including the ones mentioned here.

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Rover McRoverface

    .... Down votes deserved..


    Rover Where.The.F***.Am.I?-Face

  34. Diez66


    End, if it does early.

    Endurance if it last a long time and finally, when it stops "End".

    Boring but a good fit.

  35. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

    Named by politicians?

    "Promise, Fortitude, Courage, Vision, Tenacity, Clarity, Endurance, Ingenuity and Perseverance"

    That sounds like a list drawn up by patriotic politicians. Or 19th century Admirals.

  36. MasterSirMr

    Please be this it's a currently linguistically recognizable phrase.

    My personal opinion whether this machine makes a safe landing and continues its journey thereafter that it should be called Intergalactic A.S.M.R (Autonomous Scientific Mars Reconnaissance) is that not a perfect play on words or what? Apologies post anonymously was ticked now I should get any responses if I remember my login details!!!

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