Cultural Atlas: Mission to Mars

The New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science is conducting field geology… 33.9 million miles away.

The martian rover, “Opportunity”, has been on a fact-finding mission for 13 years, giving NASA and an exclusive group of scientists a steady flow of information on the Red Planet.

One of those scientists is Dr. Larry Crumpler.

Crumpler is one of only two scientists in the U.S. based out of a museum, giving daily instructions to the vehicle on Mars.  Primary duties include panoramic photography, geology and topographic mapping of the planet.

With daily updates on the mission, museum visitors have a unique opportunity of getting first-look details of the rover’s progress through an updated monitor just outside of the planetarium, maintained by Dr. Crumpler.

For more information on the New Mexico Museum of Natural History & Science, head over to provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Users who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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