I guess Nova Terra is a somewhat clever wordplay on the phrase "terra nova". If you didn't know, "nova" means "new" so "terra nova" translates to "new land" or "new earth". So, in the case of the show it makes sense since the colony is set up in what is considered a "new land" to the people. "Terra nova" is actually a pretty popular name for a newly colonized location in various sci-fi media. In the Mass Effect game, there's a planet called Terra Nova. In Star Trek Enterprise, there's also a planet called Terra Nova and in both cases there were early human colonized planets.
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