PRESS RELEASE – On October 30, The Museum of Flight will be the first place to exhibit NASA’s full-scale replicas of the agency’s latest robotic explorers on Mars – the rover and the helicopter, Persistence and Ingenuity. The twins are part of NASA’s Roving with Perseverance roadshow for 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 models will offer museum visitors a visceral way of identifying 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 exhibition runs until and including April 3, 2022.
Opening day events
The mock-ups will be on display at the Charles Simonyi Space Gallery. On the opening day, there will be representatives from NASA JPL (the leading NASA center for Mars exploration missions), Mars planetarium shows, videos and family education programs. Throughout the exhibition, the gallery’s video wall will be updated to show the latest images from the rugged rover and its flying sidekick. Future plans include speaker programs and other events related to actual Mars and fiction.
Perseverance and Ingenuity
NASA’s Mars 2020 mission landed Persistence and Ingenuity on the red planet on February 18, 2021. Operations on the surface of Mars are scheduled to last at least one year of Mars (687 Earth days). Persistence searches for evidence of ancient microbial life and will further NASA’s quest to explore Mars’ former habitat. Ingenuity is testing for the first time the technology of driven, controlled flight on another world. Its historic maiden flight took place on April 19, 2021. Since then, the helicopter has successfully performed additional experimental flights with incrementally longer distances and greater altitudes. With its technical demo completed, Ingenuity embarks on a new phase of operational demonstration to explore how future rovers and aerial scientists can work together.
A key goal for Persistence‘s mission on Mars is astrobiology, including the search for evidence of ancient microbial life. The rover will characterize the planet’s geology and past climate and pave the way for human exploration of the red planet and be the first mission to collect and cache Mars rocks and regoliths (broken rocks and dust).
Subsequent NASA missions, in collaboration 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
Places to view full scale models:
October 30, 2021 – April 3, 2022
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
1, 15 July 2022 – 15 December 2022
Eagle Planetarium, Chicago, Illinois
June 28, 2022 – December 15, 2022
Clark Planetarium, Salt Lake City, Utah
Places to show smaller models:
October 30, 2021 – March 18, 2022
Challenger Learning Center in Kentucky, Hazard, Kentucky
Challenger Learning Center in 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