The Perseverance rover’s landing on Mars is just days away – February 18, 2021 – and toy company Mattel is helping to celebrate! The creator of the wildly popular Hot Wheels series releases a new die-cast model – the Hot Wheels Mars Perseverance Rover, modeled after the real-life rover – to mark the occasion of its landing.
How to watch live coverage of Perseverance landing
The new Hot Wheels model, a detailed 1:64 scale replica of Perseverance (approximately 3 inches or 8 cm long), is part of a new space-themed mini-collection, the first for over 20 years old. It’s intended for ages three and up and will sell for a suggested retail price of US$1.09. We haven’t yet found a place to buy the new Hot Wheels rover online, but it’s supposed to be available in stores since late January. Try searching for “Hot Wheels retailers near me”.
Manson Cheung, lead sculptor and 3D modeler for Mattel Hot Wheels, said in an article on CollectSpace.com:
We want the car to be there for the kids to have in their hands when the real rover lands in February. We want kids to think, “Oh, I’ve got the rover in my hand and I can see it on Mars,” so there’s a connection for kids, not just to Hot Wheels, but to space too. .
According to Mattel’s press release:
Space exploration fans and Hot Wheels enthusiasts of all ages can re-enact the captivating journey of NASA’s Perseverance Rover as it surveys the Martian landscape and searches for signs of ancient microbial life, collecting samples during next year.
The Hot Wheels Mars Perseverance Rover pays homage to cutting-edge instruments and technologies that will help pave the way for human missions to Mars, studying critical data about Mars’ geology and climate and eventually returning Martian samples to Earth.
Hot Wheels and NASA have a partnership that dates back over 30 years, beginning in the mid-1980s. The first NASA model made by Hot Wheels was the Sojourner Mars Rover in 1996, which was part of the Action Packs at the time. of the society. Next came the Apollo mission (1998), the Galileo mission (1999), John Glenn (1999) and JPL Returns to Mars (1999).
Hot Wheels design teams can visit the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) to view the actual spacecraft before launch.
Due to the current interest in space exploration among children and the general public, Hot Wheels has brought back the Space mini-collection for 2021. Needless to say, the Perseverance rover is a perfect addition to this collection.
Scott Shaffstall, Senior Public Relations Manager for Vehicles, Figures and Licensing at Mattel, added:
NASA’s Perseverance rover, just in name, goes with Hot Wheels’ “Challenge Accepted” spirit. It’s very much related to this vision of trying, failing, repeating until it’s done right.
So in our minds, this mission is already a success because it moves the needle and brings us a little closer to Mars.
The Space Mini Collection was brought back in 2021 due to increased interest in space exploration by children and the general public. The rover was an obvious choice and we knew it would land on Mars.
Perseverance is due to land in Jezero Crater on Mars on February 18. Its main mission is to search for evidence of ancient microbial life. Design-wise, the rover is very similar to the Curiosity rover, currently in Gale Crater, but has different science instruments. While Curiosity focuses on finding evidence of past habitability, which it did, Perseverance seeks direct evidence of life itself. This will be the first mission since the Viking 1 and 2 landers in the late 1970s/early 1980s to do so.
Jezero Crater was a lake a few billion years ago and contains rich sediments and clays that may possibly hold clues to microbial life, if any ever existed. The rover will land near an ancient river delta inside the crater, still clearly visible, where a river once flowed into the lake. Jezero Crater is therefore a prime location for the search for Martian life.
Perseverance even has a companion, a small drone-like helicopter called Ingenuity that will attempt to be the first plane ever flown on Mars. It will fly ahead of the rover, looking for good spots where Perseverance can stop and perform analysis and take rock and soil samples. The rover’s onboard lab can perform substantial analysis itself, but some samples will also be stored for later return to Earth on another mission. Laboratories on Earth can then make a much more detailed study of the samples in search of evidence of past life.
Mattel also made a similar toy replica of the still-active Curiosity rover in 2012.
Conclusion: Mattel, the famous manufacturer of Hot Wheels toys, has just released a new Hot Wheels Mars Perseverance Rover to help NASA celebrate the landing of its Perseverance rover on Mars on February 18th.