Mars is on our minds and in our sights more than ever before—and getting closer in reach. NASA aims to land people on Martian ground by the 2030s. In preparation, missions with robotic explorers are getting us better acquainted with our cosmic neighbor.
Several exhibits and talks at our upcoming Space & Science Festival take a look at Mars exploration past, present and future.
McMurdo 3D Panorama This panoramic view of the Martian landscape was created using images taken by the Mars rover Spirit. It’s the largest, highest-fidelity view we have of Mars! In it, you’ll see porous volcanic rocks indicating geothermal activity, signs of a possible hot spring, and rocks that might be meteorites.
Mars Helicopter NASA has built many robots that traverse Mars on wheels, and soon there may be flying explorers buzzing around above them. JPL’s MiMi Aung is part of a team developing a drone helicopter that would scout out areas for a rover to explore. Aung will be at Family Astronomy Night on Friday, August 4, to talk about this exciting development on the Martian horizon.
Mars Rover Concept Vehicle The next generation of space explorers could travel and work in a high-tech mobile lab like the Mars rover concept vehicle. Measuring 28 feet long and 11 feet tall, it has life support, navigation and communication systems, and massive wheels designed to travel over Martian dunes, rocks, and craters. It will be on display on Pier 86, allowing you to see it up close