‘Custom’ ride on the road to Mars unveiled at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex
KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. — More and more, NASA and its family of contractors are focusing their attention on the Red Planet, and an event held at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex on Monday, June 5, showed off some sporty new wheels that any astronaut would love to use when cruising the flash-frozen plains of Mars.
The event, part of the Visitor Complex’s Summer of Mars celebration, unveiled a Mars rover concept vehicle and was hosted, in part, by former shuttle astronauts Scott Kelly and Jon McBride.
Kelly, who completed one year on the International Space Station in March of last year (2016), spoke for about an hour, noting that when one is working on large goals, the best way to achieve them is through a series of small, manageable steps.
Children need inspiration and the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex worked with Parker Brothers Concepts, along with NASA scientists, to develop the Mars concept rover which is poised to tour the U.S. East Coast in July and August in an effort meant to help provide that inspiration. This summer, the Visitor Complex will also provide free admission to students who are entering the fifth grade this fall.
Monday’s event was held at the Visitor Complex’s Rocket Garden and included Lisa Hultquist the senior director of sales, marketing, content, and education for the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex.
For his part, Kelly noted that missions like his one-year stay on the ISS are critical on NASA’s Journey to Mars.
“There’s a lot more stuff, especially about human physiology, that we need to know if we’re going to go to Mars; it’s going to take over six months to get there. You’re going to have to spend over a year on the surface; it’s going to take over six months to get back – that’s a lot of time in space,” Kelly said. “[…] so there’s a lot more that we still need to learn before we make that journey.”
Video courtesy of the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex
Mike Howard was born on Florida's Space Coast in 1961, growing up on the beaches near the Kennedy Space Center when rockets first started to fly into space. As a small boy, one of the first photographs he took was in July 1969 - of the Apollo 11 launch to the Moon with his father's Nikon. With over 20 years of professional photographic experience Howard has been published in various media including Florida Today, Air and Space Magazine and has worked with SpaceX and Space Florida as well as other news outlets. In 1998 his company started offering destination wedding photography services in the Cocoa Beach area and in 2005 Michael Howard Photography L.L.C. was formed.