Australians have been given the chance to vote on the name of the country’s first ever lunar rover, and half of the options come from First Nations culture.
After thousands of submissions the Australian Space Agency has whittled it down to four; Coolamon, Kakirra, Mateship, and Roo-ver.
Coolamon comes from the Wiradhuric word ‘guliman’ from central New South Wales, which refers to a carrying vessel used to carry water, fruits and nuts as well as cradling babies.
The Space agency says it “symbolises the balance between utility and respect for the environment, mirroring our approach to space exploration.”
The other Indigenous name is Kakirra, which is the Kaurna people from South Australia’s word for ‘Moon.’
ASA says the name is a tribute to “the history of Australia, just as the rover is about the future of this country”.
“The rover is very important to lunar expeditions and is a big step for Australia.”
The other names Mate-ship alludes to the “indescribable trait” shared by all Australians, while Roo-ver is a play on kangaroo and Rover.
The lunar rover will be extracting soil from the moon’s surface after hitching a ride on a NASA’s rocket.
The head of the Australian space Agency Enrico Palermo, has told the ABC he’s really proud of the names on offer.
“We had over 8,000 submissions from around the nation showing phenomenal interest into naming what’s such a bold step for the nation.”
You can cast your vote on the Australian Space Agency’s Website.
Voting ends on the 1st of December.
Image Credit: AAP Image/Supplied by Australian Space Agency