In a joint effort with the Navajo Nation, NASA is naming landmasses and different notable options on the floor of Mars after phrases within the Navajo language.
The primary of those is a rock recognized by NASA’s Perseverance rover, which landed on the pink planet final month. It’s known as “Máaz,” the Navajo phrase for Mars.
The groups behind the Perseverance’s mission labored with a Navajo engineer, Aaron Yazzie of the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California, along with the Navajo Nation to develop an inventory of fifty phrases that might be used for naming functions, based on a NASA press launch issued on Thursday.
A number of of the phrases had been impressed by the rugged terrain the Perseverance — translated in Navajo to “Ha’ahóni” — has encountered on Mars’ floor; for example, “tséwózí bee hazhmeezh,” which might be translated as “rolling rows of pebbles, like waves.”
Different potential names on the checklist included the Navajo phrases for energy (bidziil), respect (hoł nilį́), pink rock (tsé łichíí), diligence (yéigo) and “amongst the sand” (séítah).
Yazzie stated that utilizing the language in such a fashion was a novel alternative “to encourage Navajo youth not simply by way of superb scientific and engineering feats, but in addition by way of the inclusion of our language in such a significant means.”
Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez echoed this sentiment, and referred to the Native American “code talkers” who used indigenous languages to ship secret messages to Allies through the warfare.
“Our phrases had been used to assist win World Warfare II, and now we’re serving to to navigate and be taught extra in regards to the planet Mars,” Nez stated.
Perseverance is the most important and most subtle rover NASA has but despatched to Mars, and it’ll gather samples over the following two years that can hopefully reply questions on life on the pink planet.
Calling all HuffPost superfans!
Join membership to change into a founding member and assist form HuffPost’s subsequent chapter