Museum of Flight is the first to display full-scale models of NASA’s Mars rover


PRESS RELEASE – On October 30, the Museum of Flight will be the first site to display NASA’s life-size replicas of the Agency’s latest robotic explorers on Mars: the rover and the helicopter, Perseverance and Ingenuity. The twins are part of NASA’s Roving with Perseverance roadshow at member museums of NASA’s Museum and Informal Education Alliance. The robots that dig, collect, roam, fly, listen, photograph and analyze have an almost “human” presence on the Red Planet, and the life-size models will offer Museum visitors a visceral way to identify with them. The rover lookalike is as big as a car, and its camera “head” towers over most people, while Ingenuity’s little double fits under Percy’s stomach. The exhibition runs until April 3, 2022.

Opening day events
The models will be exhibited in the Charles Simonyi Space Gallery. On opening day, there will be representatives from NASA JPL (NASA’s primary center for Mars exploration missions), Mars planetarium shows, videos, and family education programs. Throughout the exhibition, the gallery video wall will be updated to show the latest footage of the rugged rover and its flying sidekick. Future plans include speaker programs and other Mars-related events in fact and fiction.


Perseverance and ingenuity
NASA’s Mars 2020 mission has landed Perseverance and Ingenuity on the red planet on February 18, 2021. Operations on the surface of Mars are expected to last at least one Martian year (687 Earth days). Perseverance searches for signs of ancient microbial life and will advance NASA’s quest to explore the past habitability of Mars. Ingenuity is testing powered and controlled flight technology for the first time on another world. Its historic maiden flight took place on April 19, 2021. Since then, the helicopter has successfully completed additional experimental flights over increasingly longer distance and greater altitude. Once its technology demonstration is complete, Ingenuity moves into a new operations demonstration phase to explore how future rovers and air explorers can work together.

A key objective for PerseveranceThe mission of on Mars is astrobiology, including the search for signs of ancient microbial life. The rover will characterize the past geology and climate of the planet, paving the way for human exploration of the Red Planet, and will be the first mission to collect and cache Martian rock and regolith (shattered rock and dust) .

Subsequent NASA missions, in cooperation with ESA (European Space Agency), would send spacecraft to Mars to collect these sealed samples on the surface and return them to Earth for further analysis.

Roving with Perseverance: Mars Rover and helicopter models on tour
Places to exhibit life-size models:

October 30, 2021 – April 3, 2022
The Aviation Museum, Seattle, Washington

December 1, 2021 – January 30, 2022
National Air and Space Museum
Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, Chantilly, Virginia

February 18, 2022 – June 15, 2022
Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum, New York City

February 17, 2022 – May 30, 2022
Exploratorium, San Francisco, California

July 1, 2022 – December 15, 2022
Adler Planetarium, Chicago, Illinois

June 28, 2022 – December 15, 2022
Clark Planetarium, Salt Lake City, Utah

Places to exhibit smaller scale models:

October 30, 2021 – March 18, 2022
Kentucky Challenger Learning Center, Hazard, Kentucky
Northern Nevada Challenger Learning Center, Reno, Nevada
Columbia Memorial Space Center, Downey, California
Cradle of Aviation Museum, Garden City, New York
Aviation Boundary Museum, Dallas, Texas
March 30, 2022 – September 15, 2022
Discovery Science Center, Springfield, Missouri
March 30, 2022 – September 15, 2022
EcoExploratorio, San Juan, Puerto Rico


About Carlos V. Mitchell

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