Roving with Perseverance

While NASA’s Perseverance rover and Ingenuity Mars Helicopter are hard at work exploring Mars hundreds of millions of miles from Earth, their “twin” models are visiting museums as part of the “Roving With Perseverance” roadshow. As big as a car, with its camera “head” rising high, Perseverance’s six-wheeled lookalike towers over most visitors, while Ingenuity’s double highlights just how small the history-making rotorcraft is. 

The St. Louis Science Center is hosting the traveling Mars Rover exhibit, featuring full-scale models of the Perseverance Rover and the Ingenuity Mars Helicopter from now until June 24, 2024. To kick off the exhibit, there was a special panel on Saturday, June 24, 2023, featuring Ray Arvidson, Mars rover expert and MCSS and James S. McDonnell Distinguished University Professor Emeritus; John Christian, who received his PhD from the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences in May; and Matt Muszynski, a JPL engineer, as panelists in the Planetarium StarBay. Christian is now a PIXL member on Perseverance. Muszynski has worked with Curiosity, Perseverance, and is now involved with the Mars Sample Return lander development. There were about 200 people in attendance. It was a good panel, with each panelist feeding off of the others. Based on the number of people who came up after the panel discussion, there was enormous interest. 

The panelists are, from left to right in the photo, Ray Arvidson, Matt Muszynski, and John Christian.
Full-scale models of the Perseverance rover (aka Mars 2020) and the Ingenuity rotorcraft at the St. Louis Science Center. Perseverance has its arm down with its massive array of instrumentation in the foreground. The rotary percussive drill is perched and ready to obtain a core from the rock below.