NASA to Land in Mars This Weekend
Notice we didn't say "on" Mars! Find out what's happening and how to join in.
There's going to be a Mars invasion this weekend, but don't be frightened. This isn't a "War of the Worlds"-type scare!
NASA is bringing experts and an interactive exhibit to the town of Mars, PA (about 20 miles north of Pittsburgh) on Friday and Saturday to celebrate the Red Planet and share the agency's excitement about landing astronauts on the Moon in five years. Returning to the Moon with NASA's Artemis program is seen as playing an important role in preparing the U.S. for future missions to Mars.
Activities this weekend include:
- A question-and-answer session at 5 p.m. EDT Friday, including NASA chief technologist Douglas Terrier, in front of the town's flying saucer
- A half-scale model of NASA's InSight lander, the most recent mission to land on Mars
- A mini robotic rover named ROV-E, used to engage students in STEAM
- An augmented reality experience of Gale Crater, created with real data from NASA�s Curiosity Mars rover
- A model of NASA's Mars Helicopter, a vehicle that will accompany the next rover when it lands on the Red Planet in 2020
- A "make your own quake" jump station
This is NASA's third time participating in the (town of) Mars celebration with a science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics (STEAM) extravaganza. The agency hopes to use these types of events to inspire the next generation to pursue careers in space exploration and join the excitement over NASA's missions to the Moon and Mars.
NASA is also inviting people to send in their names to be engraved on microchips to be taken to Mars on the next rover landing.
Click here to send your name to Mars on the next planned Mars rover trip , engraved on a microchip. You get a souvenir "boarding pass" and "frequent flyer" points to keep!
(Image of the flying saucer sculpture located at 100 Pittsburgh Street in Mars, Pennsylvania.
Credit: Jon Dawson)