PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -- A Phoenix girl is one step closer to winning an out of this world contest.

Ten-year-old Athena Nastasia heard about a contest to name the next Mars rover at school last fall.

[WATCH: Phoenix girl in line to name the next Mars rover]

She wrote an essay and suggested the name, Ambition.

"It was such an ambitious journey just to take this rover, and this rover will be transported to this amazing planet, and it will find things that could depend on future life or figure out past life on Mars," said Athena.

If she wins, she could go down in space history. More than 28-thousand kids entered the contest.

This month, NASA named 155 kids as semi-finalists. Athena is thrilled to be one of them.

"I was crying, and my eyes were full of tears like happy tears, and I was in the car when it happened, and I was just so amazed," said Athena.

Her mom, Laura, is very proud.

"I’m beyond the moon excited," said Laura.

If Athena wins, NASA gives her an invitation to see the spacecraft launch in July.

"I know I just named a rover, but just because I did that doesn’t mean that’s just a name," said Athena. "I mean we need a name for something that’s doing a colossal role."

Her mom says she’ll find out if she won the contest on February 18.


Copyright 2020 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.


Recommended for you