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Denver Museum of Nature & Science displays full-scale model of NASA spacecraft

A model of NASA's InSight Lander begins a U.S. museum tour in Denver.

DENVER — The newest exhibit at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science is a full-scale replica of NASA's InSight Lander.

“I always joke that Mars is the only planet fully populated by robots,” Naomi Pequette, Earth and Space Program Specialist at the museum, said. “We are the first museum on a nationwide tour of museums to get a full-scale model of the InSight Lander,” Pequette said. 

The model landed in Denver March 13 and will stay through July 28. The full-scale model came directly from NASA. The actual InSight Lander has been on Mars since November. Its mission is to learn more about the interior of the Red Planet. The model in Denver is true to scale: 19 feet across. It’s complete with replications of the solar panels, a heat probe, seismometer, and other tools.

Credit: Mike Grady

The model is not made of the same materials as the actual lander (some of which were made in Colorado), but NASA provided some real life examples as part of the exhibit. They also provided a geophone which displays wave lengths from people walking around the model. The wave lengths demonstrate the information sent back from InSight’s seismometer on Mars.

The InSight model is one of the first things earthlings walk passed in DMNS’ Space Odyssey. They stop, snap photos, and learn about the lander and its mission from volunteers. 

“For me and for our guests seeing something at full-scale with so much detail really brings it to life,” Pequette said. “It brings that science that is being done on another planet right here to Denver.”

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