Event Details
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Summer of Mars | June 5, 2017 - September 4, 2017

Jun 05, 2017 - Sep 04, 2017 Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex



Explore NASA’s past, present and bold future of Mars exploration at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex during Summer of Mars. NASA’s goal is to send humans to the Red Planet in the 2030s, launching from Kennedy Space Center.  By visiting this summer, guests will learn about the missions that lead to this next giant leap, and the plan for the upcoming years. Summer of Mars is the insider track to NASA’s Journey to Mars.


“Meet” the newest concept vehicle designed for navigating the demanding landscape of Mars. Based on NASA science, the next generation of space explorers could be traveling and working in a high-tech mobile laboratory similar to this Rover.  

The Rover is an impressive size with its mobile lab, and has massive wheels designed to travel over dunes, rocks and craters. Visitors can see the Rover at the NASA Central plaza adjacent to Journey To Mars: Explorer's Wanted until June 30, when the Rover will be prepared for a five week east coast tour.  The Rover tour stops include:

  • Atlanta, GA Sun Trust Park July 14 - 16
  • Washington, D.C. National Air & Space Museum July 21 - 22
  • Jersey City, NJ Liberty Science Center July 29 - 30
  • New York, NY Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum August 3 - 6

Once the tour concludes, the Rover will be welcomed home in late August for display, so visitors will have an opportunity to get up close to this extraordinary machine.

Visit Summer of Mars to learn more about the Rover’s tour as additional details become available.


Mars Needs You! The visitor complex invites the next generation of space explorers to Join the Journey with complimentary admission for all students entering the 5th grade in fall 2017. Identified as the generation that will first step foot on Mars, rising 5th graders find an inspiring adventure during a fun and enriching vacation to the visitor complex.

Download your Boarding Pass to Mars and click for more details.


Your family can Join the Journey with the Summer of Mars Sweepstakes. Enter to win a trip to Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex for four (4) guests, including admission, Lunch With An Astronaut and a spot in the first class of the brand new Astronaut Training Experience®, opening Fall 2017. Human travel to Mars is not yet possible, so the next best immersive experience is at the visitor complex.

Learn more and submit your entry here.


  • Journey to Mars: Explorers Wanted
    Learn about what it takes to travel to Mars during this live presentation. Also, meet the robotic explorers that have been studying Mars for more than 40 years, and test your savvy with interactive simulators.
  • Journey to Space 3D
    Journey To Space gives an overview of NASA’s past space accomplishments, current activities and future plans, including the Journey to Mars.
  • Cosmic Quest
    Cosmic Quest is an interactive game play experience where trainees engage with real NASA missions, including building a Mars habitat. Available as an add-on experience.
  • Eyes on the Red Planet
    View Mars in 3D 4K resolution through the eyes of Hubble Space Telescope.
  • Science on a Sphere®: Red and Blue
    Explore Mars on a brilliantly illuminated 6-foot globe and observe how it compares to our blue planet, Earth.
  • Mission Status Briefings
    Discover what NASA is doing today to prepare for the Journey to Mars.

Guests will also see the launch pads where humans will once again launch into space, and learn about the spacecraft developed to explore deep space for NASA's Space Launch System in NASA Now. You may even see a rocket launch while you are here!


Summer of Mars celebrates the many significant anniversaries in 2017:

  • July 4 – Mars Pathfinder Landing with Sojourner Rover 20th Anniversary – Learn More
  • August 4 – Mars Phoenix Lander Launch 10th Anniversary – Learn More
  • August 5 – Mars Science Laboratory with Curiosity Rover Landing 5th Anniversary – Learn More
  • September 12 – Mars Global Surveyor Orbital Insertion 20th Anniversary – Learn More


Visit the Summer of Mars page for downloadable posters, kids activities, educator resources, quick facts and the chance for teachers to win an Astronaut Encounter for your school! 

Event Details



Summer of Mars at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex

Summer of Mars, June 5, 2017 - September 4, 2017