Moving to Mars

The Design Museum invites visitors to discover the role that design will play in humanity’s journey to the Red Planet in the exhibition ‘Moving to Mars’, which opens this October. Every detail of this extraordinary venture must be designed – from the journey (around seven months), to considering what we will wear, eat and shelter in when we get there and beyond.

Over 200 exhibits including original objects and material from NASA, the European Space Agency (ESA), SpaceX, Raymond Loewy, Chesley Bonestell plus new commissions from responsible design company RÆBURN, Anna Talvi and Konstantin Grcic tell the complete story of designing for Mars. Two major installations enable visitors to get closer to life on Mars: ‘On Mars Today’, a multisensory experience of the Red Planet and a full-scale prototype habitat by international design firm Hassell. The exhibition also questions whether we should be designing for Mars at all. In an installation modelling an alternative scenario running over a million years, Dr. Alexandra Daisy Ginsberg uses a gaming engine to simulate Mars colonised only by plants, not humans.

Conditions on Mars are deeply hostile to humans, and yet we appear to be determined to go. From the first photographic fly-by of Mars by Mariner 4 in 1965 to today’s enterprises, such as NASA and ESA’s Orion project and the private SpaceX venture, getting humans to Mars has become one of the greatest challenges of our time, especially in terms of design. Mars is the most striking planet in the night sky and it has captivated our attention since antiquity.

The exhibition begins with ‘Imagining Mars’, revealing the many ways we have looked at Mars from the earliest mentions in a cuneiform tablet from the British Museum to the first maps of Mars by Giovanni Schiaparelli, through to science fiction and popular culture. It includes a full-scale model of the European Space Agency’s ExoMars Rosalind Franklin rover. Visitors then have a chance to glimpse the hostile environment of Mars in the ‘On Mars Today’ multisensory installation.


Open daily 10:00 – 18:00 (last admission 17:00) Adult £16.00-£18.00
Child (6 – 15 years) £8.00-£9.00 Student/concession £12.00-£13.50Family (1 adult + 3 children) £24.00-£29.30 Family (2 adults + 3 children) £36.00-£41.00 National Art Pass £8.00-£9.00
Children under 6 years free

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