Girl who named Mars landers is off to jet lab The Arizona Republic

Sofi Collis, the Scottsdale girl and former Russian orphan who gave the Martian rovers Spirit and Opportunity their identity, heads to the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., this weekend to watch Spirit explore the Red Planet’s surface. Last year, Sofi’s 50-word essay topped nearly 10,000 entries in a nationwide contest co-sponsored by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration to name the robotic geological explorers. “In America, you have spirit and opportunity to do stuff,” Sofi said as to why she selected the names.