Bengaluru, June 1: Two decades ago, NASA launched Mars Rover Opportunity to search for signs of ancient water on the Red Planet. Today, the full-scale model replica of the Opportunity has landed at the Visvesvaraya Industrial & Technical Museum (VITM) in Bengaluru to inspire the next generation of scientific innovators and space explorers.
U.S. Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade Marisa Lago, U.S. Consul General in Chennai Judith Ravin, U.R. Rao Satellite Center Bengaluru’s Director Dr. M. Sankaran, and NISAR Mission System Manager at Jet Propulsion Laboratory Ana Maria Guerrero unveiled the replica of Mars Rover Opportunity at VITM’s Space Gallery for public display on Thursday, June 1.
U.S. 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.”
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 U.S. at the Smithsonian’s Air and Space Museum in Dulles, Virginia, and at the U.S. Pavilion during the 2020 World Expo in Dubai. It was also exhibited at the American Center in the U.S. Consulate General in Chennai.
Talking about the role space exploration plays in inspiring young minds, U.S. Consul General in Chennai Judith Ravin said: “U.S. 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.”
Ms. 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. The civil space dialogue between United States and India is framed around four working groups: Earth sciences, space science and exploration, heliophysics, and human space flight. The cooperation between our two countries shows that the technologies developed in support of space exploration have real-world applications that affect all of us, from advancements in telecommunications and satellite navigation to agricultural monitoring and weather forecasting. Our U.S. and Indian scientists and engineers have an opportunity to work together to change the world.”
Visvesvaraya Industrial & Technological Museum (VITM) Director K.A. Sadhana said, “The display of the full-scale replica of NASA’s Mars Rover Opportunity in the Space Technology Gallery of VITM will foster public engagement creating a unique opportunity for the community to learn and be inspired by the wonders of space exploration.”
Photo caption: (L-R) U.S. Embassy New Delhi Minister-Counselor for Commercial Affairs Jonathan Heimer, U.R. Rao Satellite Center Bengaluru’s Director Dr. M. Sankaran, NISAR Mission System Manager at Jet Propulsion Laboratory Ana Maria Guerrero, U.S. Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade Marisa Lago, U.S. Consul General in Chennai Judith Ravin, and Visvesvaraya Industrial & Technological Museum (VITM) Director K.A. Sadhana at the unveiling of the full-scale model of NASA’s Mars Rover Opportunity replica at the Visvesvaraya Industrial & Technological Museum in Bengaluru on Thursday, June 1.
Translation: Kannada (MS Word: 186 KB)