Inspired by the tradition of NASA spacecraft being named after figures from classical mythology and literature, the new Mars rover should be named Calafia, after the queen of the Amazons from the 16th century Spanish novel Las sergas de Esplandián by Garci Rodríguez de Montalvo. Montalvo was a Castilian romantic author who wrote a series of adventure novels, including Esplandián. In this novel, Calafia is the queen of the Amazons on the island of California (for which the state is named after). She led a female army, with a host of griffons, and demonstrated true courage. Of course, the patron saint and father of the Amazons is Mars. Mission control for Calafia will be the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, managed by the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, California. So, Calafia will be going to visit and study her patron god Mars, and she’ll send her knowledge back home to California.
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