Artist's illustration of the Perseverance rover on Mars. Photo: NASA/JPL-Caltech

NASA's next Mars rover, expected to launch to the Red Planet in July, is officially named Perseverance.

The big picture: Once on Mars, the mission is designed to search out possible signs of past life on the planet and cache samples for a future mission to return back to Earth one day.

Details: The name — suggested by Virginia seventh-grader Alexander Mather — and eight other finalists were voted on by members of the public. Those results were then submitted to NASA for review.

  • The rover joins other Mars spacecraft that have been named by the public, including Opportunity, Spirit, Sojourner and Curiosity.
  • Opportunity's nickname was Oppy during its time working on Mars, so perhaps Perseverance will earn the nickname Percy in that same style.

What's next: Perseverance is now being checked out ahead of launch at Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

  • If all goes according to plan, the spacecraft should land on Mars in the planet's Jezero Crater on Feb. 18, 2021.
  • That landing site is thought to be one of the best places to hunt for signs of past life on the Red Planet.

Go deeper: Where to hunt for life on Mars

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Media prepares to fact check debates in real time

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

From live blogs to video chyrons and tweets, media companies are introducing new ways to fact check the presidential debates in real time this year.

Between the lines: The debates themselves are likely to leave less room for live fact-checking from moderators than a traditional news interview would.

Life after Roe v. Wade

The future seems clear to both parties: The Supreme Court will overturn Roe v. Wade in the next few years, either gradually or in one fell swoop, and the abortion wars will move to a state-by-state battle over freedom and restrictions. 

What's new: Two of the leading activists on opposite sides of the abortion debate outlined for “Axios on HBO” the next frontiers in a post-Roe v. Wade world as the balance on the Supreme Court prepares to shift.

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
2 hours ago - Economy & Business

Jerome Powell, Trump's re-election MVP

Photo illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios. Getty Images photos: Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP and Lev Radin/Pacific Press/LightRocket

President Trump trails Joe Biden in most polls, has generally lower approval ratings and is behind in trust on most issues. Yet polls consistently give him an edge on the economy, which remains a top priority among voters.

Why it matters: If Trump wins re-election, it will largely be because Americans see him as the force rallying a still-strong U.S. economy, a narrative girded by skyrocketing stock prices and consistently climbing U.S. home values — but the man behind booming U.S. asset prices is really Federal Reserve chair Jerome Powell.