• February 18, 2021

    As people around the world watched the landing of the largest, most advanced rover NASA has sent to another world, students and teachers at Tuscaloosa County High School also watched closely, with a special connection to the event. Attached to the Perseverance rover is the Ingenuity Mars helicoper, which will attempt the first powered, controlled flight on another planet. The name “Ingenuity” was chosen by TCHS senior Vaneeza Rupani, who was one of 28,000 students who entered a NASA contest to name the rover and helicopter.

    "The ingenuity and brilliance of people working hard to overcome the challenges of interplanetary travel are what allow us all to experience the wonders of space exploration," Rupani wrote in her contest essay submission. "Ingenuity is what allows people to accomplish amazing things, and it allows us to expand our horizons to the edges of the universe."

    In celebration of the landing, NASA sent stickers and posters to TCHS. The Tuscaloosa Krispy Kreme location also delivered some of their Mars donuts, available February 18 only, in commemoration of the Mars landing.

    According to NASA, this mission is a pivotal moment for space exploration and will help prepare for human exploration of Mars. Learn more from NASA about the mission, Perseverance rover, and Ingenuity helicopter.

    Congratulations to Vaneeza on being part of this historic moment and for representing our schools and community so well!