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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 vehicle.  

The rover vehicle is an impressive size with its mobile lab, and has massive wheels designed to travel over dunes, rocks and craters. The rover vehicle rolled out of the visitor complex June 30 to make tour stops along the East Coast, and will soon return to the visitor complex.

Visitors can get up close to this extraordinary machine that was commissioned by Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex. NASA approved the rover vehicle design, but no U.S. tax dollars were used to fund the building of this vehicle. 


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.


  • Lockheed Martin's Mars Experience Bus Take a seat and tour Mars using real NASA imagery that allows visitors to explore 200 square miles of the Martian surface, all from the inside of a standard-sized school bus.
  • 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 significant Mars exploration 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 Summer of Mars for kids activities, educator resources, quick facts, and Mars poster downloads!

Event Details



Summer of Mars at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex

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