Mar 12, 2024 - Things to Do

Mars rover Perseverance replica at the Perot Museum

A photo of a replica of the perseverance rover

Name a harder worker in the galaxy. Photo courtesy: Perot Museum of Nature and Science

Perseverance is roving Mars to collect rocks and search for signs of ancient life on the red planet — and its twin is in Dallas.

The latest: The Perot Museum of Nature and Science has a Perseverance model on display with the rover's latest pictures of Mars and details about the space mission.

  • The museum also has models of the Ingenuity Mars Helicopter and the Mars Ascent Vehicle, which is meant to store samples until a possible return to Earth.

State of orbit: NASA has sent about 20 spacecraft to Mars since the 1960s, mapping the planet and detailing the ground using rovers.

  • The current mission, Mars Sample Return, is a joint effort with the European Space Agency to bring soil back and study the possibility of ancient life.

Friction point: The program may be on shaky ground. NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory laid off about 8% of its workforce in January, citing congressional budgetary concerns.

  • NASA will get a minimum of $300 million for the mission in funding approved last week by Congress.
  • But that's a sharp drop from the nearly $823 million the space agency spent on the program last year, per the LA Times.

What Perseverance has found: The rover captured a photo of the silhouette of Phobos — one of the red planet's two moons — passing in front of the sun on the 1,056th Martian day of the mission.

  • NASA is analyzing such images to track how the moon's orbit is changing.
  • The roving scientist has collected 23 Mars rock and soil samples.
  • In December, it completed an expedition through a river delta that showed a lake filled Jezero Crater billions of years ago.

If you go: Perseverance will be on display at the Perot through Sept. 2, included in general admission.

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