Space and Physics

Perseverance Landing Site Named After Visionary Science Fiction Author Octavia E. Butler


Dr. Alfredo Carpineti

Senior Staff Writer & Space Correspondent

clockMar 8 2021, 15:29 UTC
Octavia E Butler over imposed on Mars

Image Credit: Octavia E. Butler CC BY-SA 2.5, combined with the Octavia E. Butler Landing Site, NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona.

NASA has announced that the landing site of its latest rover Perseverance will from now be known as the "Octavia E. Butler Landing", after the late great science fiction writer. Butler was the first African-American woman to win both the Hugo Award and the Nebula Award, and she won both of them multiple times.


She was the first science-fiction author to win the MacArthur Fellowship. Kindred, Bloodchild, The Parable of the Sower, and many other of her works are now among the most important literary contributions of the last century.

“Butler's pioneering works explored themes of race, gender equality, and humanity, centering on the experiences of black women at a time when such voices were largely absent from science fiction. Butler's protagonists embodied determination and inventiveness, making her a perfect fit for the Perseverance rover mission and its theme of overcoming challenges,” Dr Katie Stack Morgan announced in a press conference discussing the several firsts achieved by Perseverance in its few weeks on Mars.

The Octavia E. Butler Landing on Mars. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

This is not the first time Butler has been honored by having her name among the stars. Asteroid 7052 Octaviabutler was named after her, and so was the Butler Mons – a mountain on Charon, the largest moon of Pluto.

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