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Canberra, Nov 20 — The Australian Space Agency (ASA) has unveiled a shortlist of four names for the country’s first moon rover, and Australians are invited to vote on their preferred choice. The names—Coolamon, Kakirra, Mateship, and Roo-ver—were selected from over 8,000 public submissions. The voting period will run from Monday until Dec. 1, with the winning name to be announced on Dec. 6.

The candidates were chosen by an ASA panel of judges based on criteria such as relevancy, creativity, and the rationale provided by the submitters. Coolamon is a vessel used by Indigenous Australians, Kakirra means “moon” in the language of the Kaurna Aboriginal people of South Australia, Mateship is a cultural term for friendship in Australia, and Roo-ver incorporates the iconic kangaroos.

Once named, the rover will be sent to the moon as part of NASA’s Artemis missions, scheduled for launch in 2026 or 2027. The rover’s mission involves collecting lunar soil and assessing the feasibility of extracting oxygen on the moon, contributing to the development of a sustainable human presence.

The rover’s design will be selected from two consortiums comprising Australian industries, space start-ups, universities, and resource companies. Each consortium was awarded 4 million Australian dollars (2.6 million US dollars) in funding in March to develop their lunar vehicles.