Mission: Mars


Experience the Red Planet.

Explore the red planet and learn about the science and technology that got us there by visiting Mission: Mars. Developed by the Saint Louis Science Center in partnership with NASA and Washington University in St. Louis, this unique exhibit has two parts to explore: Mission Control and Mars Base, located on opposite sides of our Skybridge.


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Mission: Mars Mission Control

Assume the role of a NASA engineer and experience current day exploration of Mars. Design and build a robotic rover to traverse the red planet and discover the challenges of navigating with a simulated time delay, all while seeing Mars from the perspective of your rover. Mission Control is located on the second floor of the Oakland Building.

Older kids building in Mission Mars Control

NASA Perseverance Rover Landing

Saturday, February 18, 2021

We experienced an epic journey unfold on Thursday, February 18, 2021 as NASA’s Perseverance rover landed on Mars. To reach the surface of the Red Planet, the rover had to survive the harrowing final phase known as Entry, Descent, and Landing.

Learn more about Perseverance the rover, future updates and more about Mars!

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Landing is hard!

After traveling seven months to reach Mars, the Perseverance rover still has to land successfully on the surface of the Red Planet on February 18th. Learn more from NASA Solar System Ambassador John Mackin about what it will take for the rover to make it all the way to Mars, including the “seven minutes of terror” through entry, descent, and landing.

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From Mars to Earth

From H.G. Wells’ War of the Worlds to Andy Weir’s The Martian, our culture’s fascination with the Red Planet is nothing new. However, the ability to explore this distant world is much more recent in our history.

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Mars Rover Replica Build

Have you ever seen the Mars rover replica at the Science Center? It was actually built by the talented folks in our Exhibit Electronics Department. Here’s a behind-the-scenes look as Collin and Nathan put it together. Think of it as a giant Erector Set that took roughly 55 hours to complete!

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Boy playing in Mission Mars Base

Mission: Mars Base

Welcome to the future of Mars exploration! You’ll be transported to Mars at some point in the distant future. Taking on the role of an astronaut living and working on Mars, you’ll perform science operations at key locations on the planet. You’ll use two specially designed rovers, Intrepid and Adventure, which closely resemble the rovers currently exploring the red planet. Mars Base is located across the Skybridge at the McDonnell Planetarium, P1.

Membership does more.

As a nonprofit, the Saint Louis Science Center relies on memberships, donations and ticket sales to support free galleries like Mission: Mars, our education programs, community outreach and daily operation.

If you’d like to support the Science Center’s mission, learn more about membership, make a one-time gift in support of the Science Center, or get tickets to see a show.

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Mission: Mars is accessible to visitors with disabilities, as well as visitors with strollers, scooters, and walkers. Elevators and ramps serve all public areas.

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