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NASA Names A Rock Feature On Mars In The Dine Language

Photo courtesy of NASA

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NASA has named a feature on Mars in Dine. The Perseverance rover team named a rock, “Maaz” or Mars in the Navajo language. NASA officials say Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez and Vice President Myron Lizer have helped the team with the names. Nez says “we hope that having our language used in the Perseverance mission will inspire more of our young Navajo people to understand the importance and the significance of learning our language.” Perseverance touched down in the “quad” area named for Canyon de Chelly National Monument. Mission scientists worked with a Navajo engineer Aaron Yazzie of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California, to seek the Navajo Nation’s permission and collaboration in naming new features on the red planet.