Reading time ( words)
Catch Mars mania as a traveling exhibit visits more than a dozen towns across the U.S. with lifelike models of NASA’s Perseverance rover and Ingenuity helicopter.
While NASA’s Perseverance rover and Ingenuity Mars Helicopter are hard at work exploring Mars hundreds of millions of miles from Earth, their “twin” models will be visiting museums as part of the “Roving With Perseverance” roadshow. As big as a car, with its camera “head” rising high, Perseverance’s six-wheeled lookalike towers over most visitors, while Ingenuity’s double highlights just how small the history-making rotorcraft is. The tour begins in October at venues on the East and West Coasts, then works its way inland.
Since landing on Mars on Feb. 18, 2021, Perseverance has been hunting for signs of ancient microscopic life in order to collect and store samples of Martian rock and sediment to be retrieved by planned future missions for closer study on Earth. After hitching a ride to Mars on Perseverance’s belly, the Ingenuity helicopter has completed more than a dozen short flights, not only proving that powered, controlled flight is possible on Mars, but even helping scout potential locations for Perseverance to explore.
In addition to the spacecraft models, NASA Perseverance and Ingenuity scientists and engineers will give in-person and virtual talks and answer questions at various museums. The in-person events will include live activities at three venues to coincide with the one-year anniversary of Perseverance landing on Mars. Some exhibits will include digital displays with video, latest images, and sounds from the Martian surface to provide an authentic sample of what the rover is encountering as it explores the Red Planet. Another feature at some museums will be family-friendly science exhibits, such as smaller-scale rover models and tabletop displays, rock collections, spacecraft materials, and interactive selfie stations.
All the museums are members of NASA’s Museum and Informal Education Alliance. For those who don’t live near one of the tour stops, or who prefer to participate remotely, will be able to join live virtual events.
New tour stops and dates will be added at: go.nasa.gov/marsrovertour
Below are confirmed tour dates for the “Roving With Perseverance” roadshow. Check this page frequently, as dates and details may change, subject to local COVID conditions.
Venues with full-size models are in bold; other venues have smaller-scale Perseverance models.
Oct. 30, 2021 – Apr. 3, 2022, The Museum of Flight, Seattle
Oct. 30, 2021 – Mar. 15, 2022
- Challenger Learning Center of Kentucky, Hazard, Kentucky
- Challenger Learning Center of Northern Nevada, Reno, Nevada
- Columbia Memorial Space Center, Downey, California
- Cradle of Aviation Museum, Garden City, New York
- Frontiers of Flight Museum, Dallas
Dec. 1, 2021 – Jan. 30, 2022 National Air and Space Museum Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, Chantilly, Virginia
Feb. 17, 2022 – May 30, 2022 Exploratorium, San Francisco
Feb. 18, 2022 – June 15, 2022 Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum, New York City
March 30, 2022 – Sept. 15, 2022 Discovery Science Center, Springfield, Missouri
March 30, 2022 – Sept. 15, 2022 EcoExploratorio, San Juan, Puerto Rico
June 28, 2022 – Dec. 15, 2022 Clark Planetarium, Salt Lake City
July 1, 2022 – Dec. 15, 2022 Adler Planetarium, Chicago
More About the Mission
A key objective for Perseverance’s mission on Mars is astrobiology, including the search for signs of ancient microbial life. The rover will characterize the planet’s geology and past climate, pave the way for human exploration of the Red Planet, and be the first mission to collect and cache Martian rock and regolith (broken rock and dust). Subsequent NASA missions, in cooperation with ESA (European Space Agency), would send spacecraft to Mars to collect these sealed samples from the surface and return them to Earth for in-depth analysis. The Mars 2020 Perseverance mission is part of NASA’s Moon to Mars exploration approach, which includes Artemis missions to the Moon that will help prepare for human exploration of the Red Planet. JPL, which is managed for NASA by Caltech in Pasadena, California, built and manages operations of the Perseverance rover.