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Flight Plans Newsletter

New NASA Mars Rover Model, NASA Rover Designer at Museum

Date: 
04/27/2010
Space agency loans model to Museum for month of May,
NASA Mars rover engineer Kobie Boykins at Museum May 16 
SEATTLE, April 27, 2010--A full-scale model of NASA's next Mars rover, Curiosity--also known as The Mars Science Laboratory--will be on exhibit at the Museum from May 5 - May 31. The high-fidelity model is on loan from NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, where Curiosity is currently under development. Nearly the size of a compact car, it is the largest-and most advanced-Mars rover yet. It is scheduled to be launched to the Red Planet in autumn 2011 on a mission to assess the planet's ability to support microbial life. For more information please see: http://marsprogram.jpl.nasa.gov/msl/
 
Meet NASA Mars Rover Engineer
and Space Explorer Kobie Boykins
Sunday, May 16, 1 p.m.
NASA Mars rover engineer Kobie Boykins will meet Museum visitors at the full-scale model of the next Mars rover, Curiosity, on exhibit in the Museum during the month of May. Boykins will talk informally about Curiosity and the previous Mars rovers that he helped design, Spirit and Opportunity. Those solar-powered rovers--that landed on Mars in 2004--far exceeded their 90-day mechanical life expectancies, and Opportunity is still roaming Mars today. Boykins, a mechanical engineer at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, designed and helped build the celebrated solar arrays that power the rovers. He is currently working on Curiosity
 
Boykins is in Seattle to deliver a presentation at the National Geographic Live! speaker series at Benaroya Hall on May 17 and May 18 at 7:30 p.m. Boykinswill speak about his work on the Mars Exploration Rovers, and he will share stunning photographs from the surface of the Red Planet. Audience members will have the opportunity to ask questions following the presentation.
 
Photo credit: Full-scale model of Mars rover, Curiosity. NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

 
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The non-profit Museum of Flight is one of the largest independent air and space museums in the world. The Museum's collection includes more than 150 historically significant air- and spacecraft, as well as the William E. Boeing Red BarnĀ® - the original manufacturing facility of the Boeing Co. The J. Elroy McCaw Personal Courage Wing displays 28 World War I and World War II aircraft from the United States and other countries including Germany, Russia, and Japan. Over 30 aircraft representing the first century of aviation are displayed in the all-glass T.A. Wilson Great Gallery. The evolution of space flight and a look into the future are presented in the exhibit, Space: Exploring the New Frontier. The Airpark includes outdoor displays including the first jet Air Force One, a supersonic Concorde airliner and the prototype Boeing 747 jumbo jet. Interactive displays in The Flight Zone provide educational and entertaining activities for young children. The Museum's aeronautical library and archival holdings are the largest on the West Coast. More than 140,000 students are served annually by the Museum's on-site and outreach educational programs--the most extensive museum-based youth aviation and space education program in the country. The Museum is the only air and space museum in Washington State that is both nationally accredited with the American Association of Museums and a Smithsonian affiliate.
 
The Museum of Flight is located at 9404 E. Marginal Way S., Seattle, Exit 158 off Interstate 5 on Boeing Field half-way between downtown Seattle and Sea-Tac Airport. The Museum is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is $15 for adults, $13 for seniors 65 and older, $10 for active military, $8 for youth 5 to 17, and free for children under 5. Group rates are available. Admission on the first Thursday of the month is free from 5 to 9 p.m. courtesy of Wells Fargo. For general Museum information, please call 206-764-5720 or visit www.museumofflight.org.
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