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Smithsonian Celebrates Mars Rovers Anniversary With New Exhibit

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Mike Schuh joined WJZ Eyewitness News as a general assignment reporter...
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WASHINGTON (WJZ) — It’s an out of the world exhibit to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Mars rovers. The Smithsonian is putting together some of the most spectacular pictures from Spirit and Opportunity.

Mike Schuh has more.

Ten years ago, two Mars rovers–Spirit and Opportunity–bounced onto the Martian surface after a journey of seven months to explore and beam back hundreds of thousands of photos.

John Grant is the curator of a new exhibit at the Smithsonian in Washington.

“We’re celebrating not only the 10th anniversary of the Mars exploration rovers, which were supposed to last only three months,” Grant said. “But what we are really trying to do is portray not only the excitement of the discoveries that were made by the rovers but also portray the beauty that is Mars.”

Some photos, like a Martian sunset, seem to make you feel like you’re standing there.

“It created this image that is iconic in the sense that everybody on the earth has seen a sunset and they look at this image and it’s so familiar in some ways but a little bit alien, a little bit different in others,” Grant said. “Every day the images come down and you’re looking at something no one has ever seen before, no human being.”

He hopes this exhibit will help pass his passion for discovery on to a new generation.

“When the kids come in, I want them to look at these images and say, `I can do that. I want to do this. I want to go to Mars and be that person that stands on the planet,'” Grant said.

The exhibit opens Thursday at the National Air & Space Museum in Washington, D.C.

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