'Curiosity,' Meet Clara

Clara Ma signs Curiosity In front, Clara Ma, the student from Lenexa, Kans., who won the Mars Science Laboratory rover-naming contest signs the rover. Behind her, clockwise, are Charles Elachi, director of JPL, Peter Illsley and Christopher Voorhees , JPL engineers for the Mars Science Laboratory project. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech
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June 08, 2009

Twelve-year-old Clara Ma flew from Kansas to JPL to meet and sign the next rover that will zoom millions of miles to Mars. The trip is Clara's prize for winning an essay contest in which she named the rover "Curiosity."

Clara, a sixth-grader from Sunflower Elementary school in Lenexa, Kan., got a VIP tour of JPL, along with her parents and sister. Inside the building where Curiosity is being assembled, Clara donned a "bunny suit" to step into the clean room and sign her name on the rover. The trip to JPL was provided by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures.

Clara and her family also visited the Mars Yard, where future generations of rovers are tested. For more information about the next rover mission, go to http://www.nasa.gov/msl .


Clara Ma

Clara Ma poses with a model of Curiosity. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech
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