Late last summer, NASA released the Mars Rover game. The free app was designed to help people get excited about Mars and space exploration.
This summer, they've got something much bigger in mind - a Mars rover concept vehicle! They just revealed it at an event at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex. You're going to love the design, it's reminiscent of a real-life Batmobile.
— KSC Visitor Complex (@ExploreSpaceKSC) June 8, 2017
The big reveal was a part of a ceremony for the "Summer of Mars" event; which they hope will inspire and educate people about the Red Planet. “It’s an all-encompassing effort to review the history of our efforts to explore Mars and look ahead to what is being planned,” said Rebecca Shireman, who is the assistant manager of public relations for the Kennedy visitor complex.
The concept rover is 28 feet long, 13 feet wide, and 11 feet tall. It weighs about 5,000 pounds, which is equivalent to a pickup truck. It runs on an electric motor that is powered by a 700-volt battery and solar panels. The front half is a cockpit equipped with a radio and GPS. The back half is a laboratory.
Watch the video below for more details about the rover and to see what the unveiling ceremony was like!
Parker Brothers Concepts, a company that normally builds vehicles for TV shows and movies, was commissioned by the Kennedy visitor complex, to create the rover. Mark Parker, one of the founders, told Business Insider: "Movies are cool, TV is cool, but it's something else to be part of a thing that could inspire kids to go Mars and live in outer space."
Although this particular rover may never roam around Mars, Parker says it was built to do so. It can travel up to 70 mph but it's designed to 10-15 mph and the wheels' suspension is made to overcome the dunes, rocks and craters you would find on Mars.
You may not have to travel to Florida to see the rover for yourself. It's starting a four-week tour in July, with plans to stop in Atlanta, Washington D.C., Jersey City, and New York. Click here to learn more about the Summer of Mars event.