Meet the Dynamic Duo Perseverance and Ingenuity

A ground-breaking rover (literally it collects rocks) and a record-breaking helicopter are the newest residents of Mars. 

Perseverance, the rover, will seek signs of ancient life and collect rock samples that may later be returned to Earth.

Ingenuity, the helicopter, made the first powered flight on another planet. 

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The latest rover to land on Mars, "Percy" will explore ancient lake and delta deposits to determine what the ancient lake was like and whether there are any preserved biosignatures related to life on Mars.

Learn about life on Mars


Independent of the rover’s science mission, "Ginny" made the first powered, controlled flight on another planet. While Mars has lower gravity at about one-third that of Earth, its atmosphere is only one percent as dense, which makes the helicopter’s task of getting off the ground much more difficult.

Learn about Ginny

More About the Duo The Path to Mars 2020

The Smithsonian's Dr. Ellen Stofan and NASA’s Dr. Thomas Zurbuchen look back at the Mars Pathfinder mission and Sojourner rover. Discover the innovative elements of Mars 2020 (including a small solar-powered helicopter!) and what we hope to learn about the Red Planet next.

Watch EZScience Path to Mars
Launching to Mars with NASA's Perseverance Rover

Dr. Ellen Stofan and Dr. Thomas Zurbuchen talk about the technological advancements of the newest Mars rover (and helicopter!).

Watch EZScience launching Perseverance
STEM in 30: What it Takes to Explore The Red Planet

We have been exploring the Red Planet through satellites, landers, and rovers for decades. The next step of that exploration is planned for February 2021 when NASA’s Perseverance rover (and Ingenuity helicopter) will land on the surface of Mars. 

Watch STEM in 30
Preparing to Launch the Perseverance Rover to Mars

We caught up with Dr. Thomas Zurbuchen at Kennedy Space Center for the July 2019 launch of the Perseverance rover and the Ingenuity helicopter.

Watch EZScience launching Perseverance
About Perseverance Is There Life on Mars?

With the Perseverance rover set to land on Mars on February 18, 2021, we are finally in a position to know where to go, what to look for, and knowing whether there is, or ever was, life on the Red Planet.

Is there life on Mars?
Why Jezero Crater?

After five years examining all the options for landing site, find out why Jezero crater was selected. 

More about Jezero Crater
How the Perseverance Rover Will Pave a Path into the Future?

Percy will attempt many firsts, and in doing so, it will help carve a new path for future robots and humans to follow, for as much as lies behind us, even more lies ahead.

More about the future
Podcast Episode

Our AirSpace hosts will break down all the details of the mission, including soil sample caches and the very first helicopter on Mars.

Listen to AirSpace
Mars Perseverance Rover Will Look for Signs of Ancient Life

Learn about the science behind NASA’s Perseverance rover with the Museum’s Dr. Ellen Stofan and NASA’s Dr. Thomas Zurbuchen.

EZScience signs of ancient life
Mission to Mars AR App

Drawing on the resources and research behind Smithsonian Channel’s documentary Making Tracks on Mars, Mission to Mars AR will allow anyone with a smartphone or tablet to participate in the mission through innovative augmented reality experiences grounded in the real equipment and events. Exploiting the latest technologies, the app will let viewers launch an Atlas V 541 rocket, interact with and drive “Percy” and its rover predecessors, fly the helicopter, and even step through a portal onto the planet to explore the present and future of Mars exploration.

Explore AR app
For Students Naming the Rover

Out of thousands of submissions, Alex Mather's suggestion for the name of the Mars 2020 rover was chosen: Perseverance! Join student reporter Jaden Jefferson as he talks with Alex, the student who named the Mars Rover

Naming the rover
Moments of Launch

Student reporter Jaden Jefferson talks to Jim Norman, director of launch services at NASA, about the launch of the Perseverance Mars rover.

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Live Chat with Experts

In this Air and Space Live Chat, NASA engineers Kobie Boykins and Christina Hernández and curator Matthew Shindell talked about Perseverance as it made its way to Mars.

Chat with experts
What's New in Aerospace

Join Museum scientists John Grant and Mariah Baker and Air and Space educators for a live chat about the upcoming landing of Mars rover Perseverance on February 18.

What's new
Flights of Fancy

Our Flights of Fancy story time series helps young learners and their grown ups explore air and space through stories and new illustrations. 

Watch Flights of Fancy
Live Chat: Mars

Celebrate the landing with a live chat all about Mars, featuring Abigail Harrison, aka "Astronaut Abby," an aspiring astronaut and founder of "The Mars Generation."

Chat about Mars
More Resources for Educators

Videos, podcast episodes, stories, teacher guides, and more: we have everything you need to bring space into the classroom with your students. Delve into these resources related to our monthly theme, Exploring Other Worlds.

Explore educator resources

More About Mars

How Have We Imagined the Voyage to Mars? Listen to our SciFi mixtape Podcast Episodes Listen to Mars episodes With Smithsonian Magazine More Articles Making Tracks on Mars Watch with Smithsonian Channel