Tulsa Air and Space Museum and Planetarium Receives Mars Curiosity Rover Model | News

TULSA – The Tulsa Air and Space Museum welcomed a new member of the Mars-themed exhibit on Thursday, April 7.

The life-size model will be part of the Mars exhibit and will join a variety of spacecraft and Mars-related robot models, including a Mars Global Surveyor satellite and other Mars exploration tools. The objects, many of which come directly from NASA, will become permanent residents of the museum for the public to learn about human exploration of our solar system, and beyond.

“As part of our growing Mars collection, we are honored to fulfill our promise to donors and bring our Mars exhibit to life,” said Tonya Blansett, Executive Director of the Tulsa Air and Space Museum & Planetarium. “The COVID-19 pandemic has been a challenge for the development of the exhibition, but we are delighted to open the new Mars experience to our visitors very soon.”

The Mars exhibit is set to launch in fall 2022.

Blansett said the new Mars rover replica is a one-of-a-kind piece that will let visitors see the true scale of the robotic explorer. The exhibition was designed in collaboration with the museum’s curator, Alex London.

“This Mars exhibit will tell the story of recent human science efforts on the Red Planet and the new wave of exploration technology that challenged what was truly possible for humanity,” London said.

According to London, the Rover delivered by Jet Propulsion Laboratory is a reconstruction of the Curiosity rover. Curiosity sought to answer the question, “Has Mars ever had the right environmental conditions to support small life forms called microbes?”

Early in its mission, Curiosity’s science tools found chemical and mineral evidence of ancient habitable environments on Mars. He continues to explore rock records from a time when Mars could have harbored microbial life.

“A lot of our visitors want to know when they can go to Mars and what’s next for space travel,” London said. “This exhibit will show what space exploration is capable of today and what we can expect many years from now.”

The new Mars rover will be on display the next day for visitors to view. United Rentals partners with the museum by providing heavy lifting equipment in preparation for arrival. Mike Cook, United Rentals branch manager at the Tulsa site, will take charge of the arrival event when the rover arrives by semi-truck.

Visitors are encouraged to see the new objects, as well as some of the museum’s other exciting attractions, including a flight lab equipped with state-of-the-art simulators and the planetarium, where shows are held on time. Go to https://www.syracuse.edu/stories/miguel-san-martin-mars-landing/ https://mars.nasa.gov/msl/home/

Admission to the museum and planetarium is $15 for adults and $10 for children. The museum is open to the public from Tuesday to Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Arline J. Mercier