NASA’s first Mars helicopter has a name now called Ingenuity. The credit for this name goes to 17-year-old Indian-origin girl Vaneeza Rupani.  

Rupani is a high school junior from Northport, Alabama who earned the honour of naming the helicopter after she submitted her essay into NASA’s “Name the Rover” contest. 

According to NASA, Rupani’s entry was among 28,000 essays submitted by K-12 students from every US state and territory. This is what she reportedly wrote in the essay, 

The ingenuity and brilliance of people working hard to overcome the challenges of interplanetary travel are what allow us all to experience the wonders of space exploration.  

After being selected, the excited teenager told NASA. 

(I thought) ingenuity would be a good name for the helicopter because that is exactly what it took to design this machine. The helicopter is an incredible project, and I am thrilled to have a part in its journey.

The agency in March decided to choose a name for the helicopter that will accompany the rover to Mars. The rover’s name was already selected and called ‘Perseverance’ based on seventh-grader Alexander Mather’s essay.