Thu. May 26th, 2022

Rover and helicopter mockups

Virginia student Alex Mather shows off a mockup of the Perseverance rover at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in July 2020, while Alabama high school student Vaneeza Rupani points to an ingenuity helicopter mockup. The students won trips to the Perseverance launch as a reward for naming the two spacecraft. (Photo by Ken Kremer /

Seattle’s Museum of Flight says it will serve as the first stop on a road trip for NASA’s full-scale replicas of the Perseverance rover and Ingenuity helicopter-wise versions of the hardware currently at work on Mars, 242 million miles gone.

The SUV-sized rover and its drone-sized piggyback copter landed on the red planet in February, and since then they have both studied the terrain at the Jezero Crater, which scientists suspect had a potentially habitable lake billions of years ago. The Ingenuity helicopter began investigating flights in April.

The mockups will be on display at the Museum of Flight’s Charles Simonyi Space Gallery from 30 October. Representatives from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory will be ready for the opening, which marks the kickoff for NASA’s annual “Roving With Perseverance” museum roadshow.

There will be another rover joining the exhibit for the Seattle portion of the trip: the Museum of Flight’s full-scale model of NASA’s Sojourner rover that starred in the Pathfinder mission to Mars in 1997. The museum is also planning video exhibits of perseverance images plus special events about Mars exploration.

The Seattle stopover for the “Roving With Perseverance” tour is expected to last until April 3rd. Meanwhile, additional sets of mockups will come to other museums across the country. Here is the full schedule, as described in the Museum of Flight’s press release:

Places to view full-scale models:

  • October 30, 2021 – April 3, 2022: Museum of Flight, Seattle.

  • Dec. 1, 2021 – Jan. 30, 2022: National Air and Space Museum’s Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, Chantilly, Va.

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

  • February 17 – May 30, 2022: Exploratorium, San Francisco.

  • July 15 – December 15, 2022: Adler Planetarium, Chicago,

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

Places for displaying models on a smaller scale:

  • October 30, 2021 – March 18, 2022: Challenger Learning Center in Kentucky, Hazard, Ky .; Challenger Learning Center in Northern Nevada, Reno, Nev,; Columbia Memorial Space Center, Downey, California .; Cradle of Aviation Museum, Garden City, NY; Frontiers of Flight Museum, Dallas.

  • March 30 – September 15, 2022: Discovery Science Center, Springfield, Mo .; EcoExploratorio, San Juan, Puerto Rico.

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