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A “New Mars” Comes to the National Air and Space Museum

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The Exploring the Planets Gallery in the National Air and Space Museum’s National Mall Building recently underwent a major update to the section devoted to scientific exploration of Mars. This new exhibit features the results of the Mars Exploration Rovers, the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, Mars Express, and other recent spacecraft that have revolutionized our ideas about the surface, atmosphere, ice deposits, and ancient water on the Red Planet.

Mars Portion of the Exploring the Planets Gallery

New Mars Section of the Exploring the Planets Gallery at the National Air and Space Museum

Visitors will find fantastically detailed images of the surface taken from orbit by the HiRISE camera, a full-scale model of a Mars Exploration Rover, instruments used by the Viking spacecraft to make the first searches for life, views inside the polar caps provided by radar sensors, a watch that runs on “Martian time,” and a chunk of rock that landed in Antarctica after being blasted from the surface of Mars by an impact. The new exhibit puts all this information together to reveal Mars as a complex and still-puzzling world that holds valuable clues to the development of our own planet and those around other stars.

We welcome comments on the new exhibit. Please note that installation of a few items, such as the Mars rover model, have been delayed due to the weather-related problems at the Museum’s storage facility.

Bruce Campbell is a geologist in the Center for Earth and Planetary Studies at the National Air and Space Museum

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8 thoughts on “A “New Mars” Comes to the National Air and Space Museum

  1. Wonderful !! I can’t wait to re-visit again!

    What an achievement in science and exploration! This is what we need more of – not cut backs and downsizing –

    Respect the old ~ Embrace the new ~ Dream about the future

    Great job NASM !!!

  2. This Mars section looks fantastic, I am sure that you will have a very hectic week with the visits.:D I am based in the UK, but when I do travel to the States NASM will be at the very top of my list of places to visit. Keep up the great work.

  3. Yes,we can not stop in time.
    We have to expedite this project,
    seeking to meet these science activities.
    We have much still to go the way of humanity.

  4. Cannes, May 4th 2010
    I live in a well ( Mineral world )
    I live like smoke in a well ( Gaz )
    Like vapour in a stone throat ( Condensation )
    I don’t move, i don’t do anything but wait; (Relativity’s law)
    Overhead I see the cold stars of night & morning & I see the sun! ( Solar system )
    Sometimes I sing all songs of this world when it was young. (Sonar to sound )
    How can i tell you what I am when I don’t know ? (Quest of Identity )
    I am mist ( Pre-fluidity)
    & moonlight ( Reflexibility )
    & memory ( Chords’ theory )…

    Ray Bradbury , review by Earth’s perceptions.

  5. Now that looks really cool to me. I’m planning on being in that area later this year with my kids so we’ll definitely be paying a visit. Not sure who’ll be more excited – me or the kids!

  6. Pingback: Satisfying Our Curiosity: Mars Science Laboratory and the Quest for the Red Planet | AirSpace

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