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Mockups of Mars machines are going on a road trip

Seattle’s Museum of Flight says it’ll serve as the first stop on a road trip for NASA’s full-scale replicas of the Perseverance rover and the Ingenuity helicopter — display versions of the hardware that’s currently at work on Mars, 242 million miles away.

The SUV-sized rover and its drone-sized piggyback copter landed on the Red Planet in February, and since then they’ve both been surveying the terrain of Jezero Crater, which scientists suspect harbored a potentially habitable lake in ancient times. The Ingenuity helicopter began taking on exploratory flights in April.

The mockups are due to go on display in the Museum of Flight’s Charles Simonyi Space Gallery on Oct. 30. Representatives from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory will be on hand for the opening, which marks the kickoff of NASA’s yearlong “Roving With Perseverance” museum roadshow.

By Alan Boyle

Mastermind of Cosmic Log, contributing editor at GeekWire, author of "The Case for Pluto: How a Little Planet Made a Big Difference," president of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing. Check out "About Alan Boyle" for more fun facts.

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