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Three candidate names for China's Mars rover come out after global poll

Xinhua | Updated: 2021-03-02 14:26
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Illustration of Tianwen 1 probe entering Martian obit. [Photo provided to China Daily]

BEIJING -- Three possible names for China's first Mars rover have come out after a 40-day global online poll.

"Zhurong," a fire god in ancient Chinese mythology, tops the list while "Nezha," a beloved Chinese mythological figure, and "Hongyi," which means having a broad and strong mind in Chinese, ranked second and third, respectively.

The China National Space Administration in January unveiled a list of 10 selections for the name after a global naming campaign that kicked off in late July 2020. Netizens at home and abroad were invited to vote on 10 candidates from Jan 20 to Feb 28.

Starting Tuesday, a panel of experts will also vote for the final candidates. The administration will decide the top three names based on public voting and expert opinions.

China launched Tianwen 1 on July 23, 2020. The spacecraft, consisting of an orbiter, a lander and a rover, entered the parking orbit of Mars after performing an orbital maneuver on Feb 24.

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