NASA Mars Rover replica lands in India
Two decades ago, NASA launched Mars Rover Opportunity to search for signs of ancient water on the Red Planet. A full-scale replica of the space shuttle landed at the Visvesvaraya Industrial and Technical Museum (VITM) in Bengaluru this week to inspire the next generation of scientific innovators and space explorers.
The replica of Mars Rover Opportunity at VITM's Space Gallery was unveiled for public display on June 1.
The full-scale model of the Mars Rover Opportunity was built by Cornell University students in the United States. The model was on display in the US at the Smithsonian's Air and Space Museum in Dulles, Virginia, and at the US Pavilion during the 2020 World Expo in Dubai. It was also exhibited at the American Centre in the US Consulate General in Chennai.
US Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade Marisa Lago said, "As the United States and India forge even closer cooperation across critical sectors, space provides yet another example of our partnership, with today's dedication ceremony serving as a symbol of our mutual commitment," according to an official statement.
Talking about the role space exploration plays in inspiring young minds, US Consul General in Chennai Judith Ravin said, "US Consulate General is proud to support the Visvesvaraya Industrial and Technical Museum in promoting science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education. We hope to inspire the next generation of space enthusiasts and innovators with a display of the Mars Rover Opportunity replica."
Ravin added, "The arrival of the full-scale replica of Mars Rover Opportunity in India also symbolizes the longstanding space technology cooperation between India and the United States. India is an important partner to the United States in space exploration. Initiated in 2005, the United States and India Civil Space Joint Working Group is the venue for a productive exchange of views and discussion on new and expanded areas for civil space cooperation."