This Saturday, November 26, NASA will launch its biggest, most advanced rover yet: the one-ton Curiosity, a mobile laboratory with a two-year mission to find out whether Mars has ever supported life. See a life-sized model of Curiosity in the Museum’s new exhibition Beyond Planet Earth: The Future of Space Exploration,then explore how Mars might be transformed into a more hospitable planet with an interactive terraforming table.
In a corner of the exhibition The World’s Largest Dinosaurs, an elegant wire outline of the head of Diplodocus longus, a sauropod that lived in the Late Jurassic period about 156 million years ago, anchors a fascinating fossil: one half of a bony braincase, its interior carefully color-coded to denote various functional structures once within it.
On the morning of Monday, November 21, the Origami Holiday Tree was lit in the first-floor Grand Gallery by the 77th Street exit. The display pays tribute to some of the Museum’s “biggest and best” displays, with ornaments that include a blue whale, highlights from The World’s Largest Dinosaurs, and a space shuttle as a nod to the Museum’s latest special exhibition, Beyond Planet Earth: The Future of Space Exploration. Celebrating sheer size and scope, these origami models represent some of the largest natural and cultural exhibits on display throughout the Museum. Watch the video or flip through the slideshow below to preview a few of the ornaments. The tree is on view now until Monday, January 2.
Beyond Planet Earth: The Future of Space Exploration offers a vision of the future of space travel as it boldly explores our next steps in our solar system and beyond. Future missions highlighted in Beyond Planet Earth—once limited to the realm of science fiction but today discussed by leading scientists and engineers—include building a space elevator on the surface of the Moon, deflecting a hazardous near-Earth asteroid, traveling to Mars—and perhaps even establishing colonies there.