What's New

Our Team

Our Friends




Ask Experts

Our Mission


Mars Exploration Rover
Lands at Disneyland
[versión española]

by Michelle Mock

Anaheim, California - On October 31st, Disneyland Resort launched the new American Space Experience™ NASA Exhibit in Tomorrowland™.  When the doors opened on Halloween, guests were treated to several new displays.  The focal point is a revolving Mars Exploration Rover (MER), a mock-up of one of two rovers set to pilot across the surface of the Red Planet.  Surrounding the base of the rotating display are an artist's renditions of the landing sequence.  Like the Mars Pathfinder, which is still on display in the exhibit, MER will use the airbag method for landing.

In January 2003, scientists and engineers will be gathering in Pasadena, California to make final recommendations for the landing sites of the two rovers that will be launched towards Mars next summer.  Scientists and engineers will work closely together to determine which sites may yield the greatest scientific return while taking into consideration the engineering constraints and safety of the rovers.  Four possible landing sites still under consideration at this time are Hematite, Gusev, Isidis and Elysium.  All are located near the Martian equator.

Mars Exploration Rover   MER Rotating Stand
The Mars Exploration Rover sits atop a revolving stand.
A photograph of Apollo astronauts collecting moon rocks forms a backdrop for the actual moon rock on display.  This rock was one of the ones brought back from the moon and is a sample of breccia.  Another photograph, courtesy of Malin Space Science Systems, shows "gullies" on Mars that seem to show relatively recent water erosion.  This photograph came from the Mars Global Surveyor spacecraft which has been imaging and gathering data from Mars orbit since 1997. Moon Rock
Aerogel Another item that always generates interest is aerogel.  Aerogel is a very interesting material which is almost as light as air.  Observed from different angles, aerogel takes on different transparent colors.  It may be pale blue, amber or even invisible!  A highly insulating material, aerogel has different purposes.  It will be used to insulate the MER spacecraft, and is currently used by the Stardust Mission to collect particles of a comet and then later return those samples to Earth.
The new exhibit also includes two new scale models.  Nestled between the aerogel and moon rock displays is a model of the Mars Odyssey spacecraft, which launched in April 2001, and is currently orbiting Mars, returning incredible photographs and science data.  The second model is a replica of the Deep Space Network's 34-meter antenna represents one of the many antennas that will be used to track MER during its interplanetary journey and mission.  Another 34-meter antenna, in use within the DSN, is the Goldstone Apple Valley Radio Telescope (GAVRT).  This antenna is used in education, allowing students who are learning about radio astronomy to actually control a real radio telescope (34-meter antenna) to collect science data about objects in the universe. 34-meter DSN antenna
NASA TV Other displays complement the exhibit.  A live NASA TV feed enables guests to view launches, landings or Internet webcasts in real-time.  A satellite view of California shows the location of Disneyland.  Guests can still step on a scale to find out how much they weigh on another planet, or see if they have the "right stuff" to be an astronaut.

Disneyland continues to make Tomorrowland™ a place where, in Walt Disney's words, "youth may savor the challenge and the promise of the future".  The American Space Experience™ exhibit continues to inspire and challenge the youth of today who will be the ones who continue exploring and dreaming well into the future of tomorrow.

To all who come to this happy place: welcome. 
Disneyland is your land.
Here, age relives fond memories of the past, 
and here youth may savor the challenge and promise of the future. 
Disneyland is dedicated to the ideals, the dreams, 
and the hard facts that have created America...
with the hope that it will be a source of joy and inspiration to all the world.

~ Walt Disney, 17 July 1955

For more information:
Mars Exploration Rover
Mars Exploration
MGS Images
MER Landing Sites
Deep Space Network
Mars Odyssey
Mars Global Surveyor
MER Animations
MER Flight Trajectories
Daniel Maas (an interview with the creator of the Mars Rover animation)
Lewis Center for Education
Debunking the Hoax

[Disneyland closed the doors on the American Space Experience (NASA Exhibit) on October 26th 2003.]

All photographs © The Walt Disney Company
This webpage is not an official document of the Walt Disney Company.


- 1 November 2002


  Español Français Português
Last Updated:
5 November 2003


| Home | Contact Us | Credits | Sitemap |

© 2002-2003 -