Lockheed Martin Mars Experience Bus Takes Kids on a Tour of the Red Planet

Lockheed Martin has launched Generation Beyond, a first of its kind, national educational program to bring the science of space into thousands of homes and classrooms across America. The Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) program is designed to inspire the next generation of innovators, explorers, inventors and pioneers to pursue STEM careers.

“Our children — the elementary, middle and high school students of today — make up a generation that will change our universe forever. This is the generation that will walk on Mars, explore deep space and unlock mysteries that we can’t yet imagine,” said Marillyn Hewson, Lockheed Martin Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer. “They won’t get there alone. It is our job to prepare, inspire and equip them to build the future – and that’s exactly what Generation Beyond is designed to do.”

The new STEM education program offers several interactive tools to engage and inspire students and educators, including the Mars Experience Bus, a first-of-its-kind “group VR” experience in which the windows of a seemingly ordinary school bus transform to take riders on a tour of the Martian surface. Cutting-edge technology creates a “1:1 relationship” between Earth and Mars – ie, when the bus turns the landscape turns just as it would in any bus excursion – that allows riders to truly feel that they are traversing the Red Planet, without the need for a headset or glasses, creating a beautifully/stunningly complex (and simple) experience. Students selected from Girls Inc. and 4H received a surprise ride, after which the bus was displayed indoors at the nation’s largest science festival, USA Science and Engineering Festival, sponsored by Lockheed Martin, in Washington D.C.