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The Museum of Flight is 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.

To join the two, the Museum has pulled out of the archives, it's full-scale model of Sojourner, the first vehicle to drive on Mars. Part of the Mars Pathfinder mission which landed on the Ares Vallis region of the red planet in 1997.

The mock-ups are displayed in the Charles Simonyi Space Gallery. 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. Please check the Museum’s Calendar for updates.

Learn more about the Mars Rover Tour here:

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, 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.

Want to learn more about Perseverance and Ingenuity? Check out these links and activities:

More Perseverance