Curiosity Rover Model Now on Display at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science

Curiosity Rover Model Now on Display at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science

DENVER-September 21, 2012-The Denver Museum of Nature & Science invites visitors to see a full-scale model of NASA's "mega-rover" Curiosity-the largest mobile spacecraft ever launched to another planet-now on display at the Museum until January.  Curiosity is the centerpiece of the Mars Science Laboratory mission which landed the rover safely on Mars on August 5.

The full-scale model-on loan from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory-is located on level one of the Museum near T. Rex Café.  Museum volunteers will be available to answer questions from visitors. The Museum plans to have programming involving the rover in the coming weeks. More details will be provided as they become available.

"We are excited to have this life-size model onsite for visitors to get an up close look at the rover," said Steve Lee, the Museum's curator of planetary science. "After an absolutely perfect landing, we look forward to watching as Curiosity explores this fascinating region of Mars over the next two years."

During its two-year mission, Curiosity will analyze dozens of samples drilled from rocks or scooped from the ground using an extensive payload of scientific gear. Curiosity is about twice the size and five times as heavy as the extremely successful twin rovers Spirit and Opportunity, which have been on the Red Planet since early 2004. Curiosity's target is the lower slopes of Mount Sharp, a mountain of layered rocks rising 18,000 feet above the floor of Gale Crater. Observations of this region from orbit by earlier Mars missions indicate liquid water was present here at some point in the past. Curiosity is expected to assess whether the crater has ever had or still has environmental conditions favorable for supporting microbial life.

Additional Information

MSL mission- http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/msl/

Press Contact

Charlotte Hurley, charlotte.hurley@dmns.org<mailto:charlotte.hurley@dmns.org> / 303.370.6407

About the Denver Museum of Nature & Science

The Denver Museum of Nature & Science is the Rocky Mountain Region's leading resource for informal science education. A variety of engaging exhibits, discussions and activities help Museum visitors celebrate and understand the natural wonders of Colorado, Earth and the universe. The Museum is located at 2001 Colorado Blvd., Denver, CO, 80205.  To learn more about the Museum, check www.dmns.org or call 303-370-6000.

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Many of the Museum's educational programs and exhibits are made possible in part by the citizens of the seven-county metro area through the Scientific & Cultural Facilities District.

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