Names of the ships of 18th-century British explorer Capt. James Cook were the most popular choices among America's schoolchildren in NASA's name-the-shuttle contest.
The space agency said that 31 of the 111 state-level winners in a national student competition chose the name Endeavour, though many of the entries used the American spelling of Endeavor. Second most popular among the state winners, with 12 selections, was Resolution.Both Endeavour and Resolution are names Cook used for his ships of exploration. A close third in popularity, with 11 choices, was Victoria, the name of the ship used by Ferdinand Magellan, the 16th century Portuguese navigator.
State-level winners in the shuttle-naming competition were selected by committees in each of the states, the District of Columbia and four U.S. territories, and from the schools of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the Defense Department and the State Department. NASA announced the selections Monday.
More than 6,100 teams, formed by 71,650 students, submitted research justifying the names. Panels from each state sorted the entries and picked winners in two divisions, kindergarten through Grade 6, and grades 7 through 12.
The state-level winners will be reviewed by NASA and the final winners in each division will be named in May, along with the chosen name for the shuttle, now under construction.