PRESS RELEASE – On October 30, The Museum of Flight will be the first site to exhibit NASA’s full-scale replicas of the Agency’s newest robotic explorers on Mars—the rover and helicopter, Perseverance and Ingenuity. The twins are part of NASA’s Roving with Perseverance roadshow to museums that are members of NASA’s Museum and Informal Education Alliance. The digging, scooping, roaming, flying, listening, photographing, and analyzing robots have an almost “human” presence on the Red Planet, and the full-scale mock-ups will offer Museum visitors a visceral way to identify with them. The rover’s lookalike is as big as a car, and its camera “head” towers over most people, while Ingenuity’s diminutive double fits under Percy’s belly. The exhibit runs through April 3, 2022.
Opening Day Events
The mock-ups will be displayed in the Charles Simonyi Space Gallery. On opening day there will representatives from NASA JPL (the lead NASA center for the Mars exploration missions), Mars planetarium shows, videos and family education programs. Throughout the run of the exhibition, the gallery’s video wall will be updated to show the latest images from the robust rover and its flying sidekick. Future plans include speaker programs and other events related to Mars in fact and fiction.
Perseverance and Ingenuity
NASA’s Mars 2020 Mission landed Perseverance and Ingenuity on the Red Planet on Feb.18, 2021. Operations on the surface of Mars are planned to last at least one Mars year (687 Earth days). Perseverance is searching for signs of ancient microbial life and will advance NASA’s quest to explore the past habitability of Mars. Ingenuity is testing the technology for powered, controlled flight on another world for the first time. Its historic maiden flight took place on April 19, 2021. Since then, the helicopter has successfully performed additional experimental flights of incrementally farther distance and greater altitude. With its tech demo complete, Ingenuity transitions to a new operations demonstration phase to explore how future rovers and aerial explorers can work together.
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, paving 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.
Roving with Perseverance: Mars Rover and Helicopter Models on Tour
Venues to display full-scale models:
October 30, 2021 – April 3, 2022
The Museum of Flight, 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, 15, 2022 – December 15, 2022
Adler Planetarium, Chicago, Illinois
June 28, 2022 – December 15, 2022
Clark Planetarium, Salt Lake City, Utah
Venues to display smaller-scale models:
October 30, 2021 – March 18, 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, Texas
March 30, 2022 – September 15, 2022
Discovery Science Center, Springfield, Missouri
March 30, 2022 – September 15, 2022
EcoExploratorio, San Juan, Puerto Rico