BENGALURU: A life-size replica of Mars rover ‘Opportunity’ has taken the pride of place at the Visvesvaraya Industrial and Technical Museum (VITM). Now on public display, the model of the famed spacecraft is expected to be the cynosure of all eyes.
Opportunity was unveiled on Thursday to boost scientific temperament and interest in space among people, especially students. It was built by students of Cornell University, USA, and brought to India by the US Consulate General in Chennai to be displayed in Bengaluru. The model had previously been displayed at the Smithsonian’s Air and Space Museum in Dulles, Virginia, at the 2020 World Expo in Dubai and at the US Consulate General in Chennai.
“We hope to inspire the next generation of space enthusiasts and innovators with a display of the Mars rover Opportunity replica. The arrival of the full-scale replica of the Mars rover in India also symbolises the longstanding space technology cooperation between India and the United States. India is an important partner to the United States in space exploration,” said Judith Ravin, US Consul General in Chennai.
Opportunity was launched by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) in 2003 to search for evidence of water on Mars. While the planned mission was expected to last for three months, the rover operated for 15 years, with NASA finally losing contact with it following a large Martian dust storm in 2018.