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NASA's 'Opportunity' Mars Rover model being exhibited for public in this Indian city

WION
ChennaiWritten By: Sidharth MPUpdated: Dec 12, 2022, 06:34 PM IST
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Photograph:(WION)

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Built by Cornell University students, the Mars rover model is an interactive exhibit that is tailored to visiting school students, features activities built around the Mars Rover and space exploration.

After being exhibited at the Smithsonian's Air and Space Museum in Washington D.C. and the U.S. Pavillion during the 2020 World Expo in Dubai, the full-scale model of NASA 'Opportunity' Mars Rover has now landed in an Indian city. Launched in 2003, the 'Opportunity' Mars Exploration Rover mission is considered among the most successful exploration efforts of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration(NASA). 

The rover landed on the Red planet in 2004, with the aim of searching for evidence that water once existed on the planet's surface. The Opportunity rover made several key discoveries during its mission, including evidence of the previous existence of water on Mars and conditions at that time could have been suitable for sustaining microbial life. The rover explored the Martian terrain for almost 15 years, far outlasting her planned 90-day mission. 

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Built by Cornell University students, the Mars rover model is an interactive exhibit that is tailored to visiting school students, features activities built around the Mars Rover and space exploration. The full-scale model has been placed at The American Center, located inside the US Consulate General in the Southern Indian city of Chennai. The exhibit is open for public viewing from Monday to Friday, between 10am to 4pm, until January 2023. Following the temporary display in Chennai, this model is expected to be placed in Bengaluru, as a permanent exhibit. 

In its 14year lifespan, the rover captured more than 2.17lakh images, travelled 28 miles on the Martian surface and negotiated slopes as steep at 32degrees.

Launching the exhibit of the full-scale Rover model, U.S. Consul General Chennai, Judith Ravin said that “Our U.S. and Indian scientists and engineers have an opportunity to work together to change the world... We hope that the ties between our two countries in the space sector, including between NASA and ISRO, will continue to expand with future missions to Mars and beyond. We hope this exhibit will inspire students such as yourselves to explore all the opportunities that lie ahead for you in the space sector as you begin to think through what you want to study and where you work".