DES MOINES, Iowa — An out-of-this-world mission has landed in Des Moines, as the Science Center of Iowa is temporarily home to full-scale models of NASA's Perseverance rover and Ingenuity Mars helicopter.
NASA says Perseverance first landed on Mars in February 2021, and has since been hunting for signs of ancient microscopic life.
That's in an effort to collect and store samples of Martian rock and sediment for future research.
Ingenuity, the Mars helicopter, has finished more than two dozen flights to show that powered, controlled flight is possible on Mars, as well as to scout out possible locations for Perseverance's explorations.
The Science Center of Iowa's exhibit features direct replicas of the two spacecrafts.
Amy Hock, the Director of Marketing and Public Relations at the Science Center of Iowa, says the experience offers Iowans an opportunity to get up close and personal with the spacecraft - something that can't be done any other way.
The two models are on display at the Science Center of Iowa now through August 26th.
Members of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory will be onsite through Sunday, May 15th to talk more about Perseverance and Ingenuity.
On Friday evening, May 13th, the Science Center of Iowa is hosting a 21+ event where guests can learn more in-depth about the models.
The Science Center of Iowa also plans to host a Star Party at Ewing Park in Des Moines on Sunday night for the total lunar eclipse.
The Star Party begins at 8:30 p.m. and runs until 1:30 a.m., when the total lunar eclipse ends.