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.


Featured Spaces

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 – LIVE

Saturday, February 18, 2021

Watch an epic journey unfold on Thursday, February 18, 2020 as NASA’s Perseverance rover lands on Mars. To reach the surface of the Red Planet, the rover has to survive the harrowing final phase known as Entry, Descent, and Landing.

Only then can the rover – the biggest, heaviest, cleanest, and most sophisticated six-wheeled robot ever launched into space – search Jezero Crater for signs of ancient life and collect samples that will eventually be returned to Earth.

Tune in here to a live video feed of key landing activities and commentary from Mission Control at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

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SciFest: Mission Mars

Saturday, February 20, 2021

Come explore and be immersed in a special day of free themed activities, presentations, and STEM concepts all about Mars, including studying and someday maybe landing and living on the Red Planet! Meet Mars experts, participate in Mars and space-related activities in our galleries including a Mars rover mission simulation. See a special Mars show in the Planetarium, and get a peek at a real Mars meteorite!

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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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