A new Mars rover has landed at the Museum’s Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Virginia. The Mars Exploration Rover (MER) Surface System Test-Bed (SSTB) is nearly identical to the MER twin rovers Spirit and Opportunity that landed on Mars in 2004. What makes the SSTB different, however, is that it was designed for use on Earth.
We’ve talked about planetary protection on the pod before, but it’s never felt closer to home than now, so we’re digging a little deeper into what it takes to keep our planet safe from space germs and keep space safe from Earth germs.
On the same day that a commercially-built spacecraft docked with the ISS for the first time, cities across this nation experienced widespread protests sparked by profound racial disparities. The confluence of events drew comparisons to 1968 and 1969, when successful flights to the Moon occurred in the midst of a similarly fraught moment. Curator Margaret Weitekamp reflects.