Odessa – An Ode to Odyssey for ExoMars Rover

There is a competition that was just announced by the European Space Agency (ESA). @fredrikka just posted about it. The contest?  Name the ExoMars 2020 rover. As soon as I read his post a name popped into my head.  No, it wasn’t Boaty McBoatFace. Although, when you run a contest like this you will get those idiots that insist on rather stupid names. I think that thought goes through every sane person’s head when they hear of a contest of this nature.

Please read @frerikka’s post – The European Space Agency wants YOU to name the next big rover going to Mars!

Space fascinates me. To see us, as a species, reaching out to Mars and all the advancements that we have made towards unravelling the mysteries of the universe is just mind-blowing (we are still a long ways away.) Anyhow, it’s extremely exciting. There’s also a local connection to the NASA Mars rover. At the University of Guelph, there was a team lead by professor Ralf Gellert that developed the APXS system on Curiosity.

U of G physics professor Ralf Gellert led an international group of scientists that developed the APXS (alpha particle X-ray spectrometer). The APXS was Canada’s contribution to NASA’s Mars Science Laboratory rover Curiosity that is now exploring the red planet.[^1]

The University of Guelph is a local university that both my sons currently attend (one for Microbiology, the other for NanoScience – I’m a proud papa.)

I had to enter the contest. The name I entered was:


Here is a shot of my submission:

Jasonbu’s submission to name the ExoMars 2020 rover

Why Odessa?

My rationale for the name was that it was the feminine form of the word Odysseus. Many people associate or connect with the metaphorical notion of the Earth being mother nature[^2] or the Gaia hypothesis[^3].  Odysseus was the hero of Homer’s epic poem the Odyssey[^4].  Odysseus took ten years to return home after the battle of Troy. The word Odyessy has a literal and figurative meaning, which we are all familiar with.

Defenition of Odyssey [^5]

1:  a long wandering or voyage usually marked by many changes of fortune

2:  an intellectual or spiritual wandering or quest

In my mind, Odessa brings together an origin and a destination – starting from Mother Earth and taking an epic journey to Mars.  To my knowledge, there has not been a spacecraft or mission named Odessa.

Sigh, ok. I do have to come clean. There, unfortunately, is also a dark side to the word and that is the Greek meaning – “Wrathful.”  I really was not sure how to spin that side of it. I’m hoping it can be overlooked, maybe? It’s not all bad. How about we through in some woo-woo for good measure.

Numerology #9 Expression (I have no idea how this comes about but…)

People with this name tend to be passionate, compassionate, intuitive, romantic, and to have magnetic personalities. They are usually humanitarian, broadminded and generous, and tend to follow professions where they can serve humanity. Because they are so affectionate and giving, they may be imposed on. They are romantic and easily fall in love, but may be easily hurt and are sometimes quick-tempered.[^6]

All joking aside. My submission was serious and I think has merit base on the historical ties and my loose etymology.  Let me know what you think. Also, a shout out to @fredrikka for writing about this opportunity. It would be amazing if a Steemian’s name entry was chosen.

Is your Witness dance card full? If not, vote for some of the good Witnesses below.


[^1]: https://news.uoguelph.ca/2016/12/u-g-mars-research-news/

[^2]: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mother_Nature

[^3]: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gaia_hypothesis

[^4]: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Odyssey

[^5]: https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/odyssey

[^6]: My apologies for having to provide this link but I must as a citation – http://numerologystars.com/expression-number-9/

About jasonbu 56 Articles
I'm a wannabe extrovert and an Interweb nerd who has spent the past 25+ years in the software industry. My first 10 years at Microsoft. I've served in the Canadian Military; I'm a humanist; I love coffee; love all things science and love spending time with my family.