The Martian Puzzle

The Martian puzzle. An exhibition.

“Today, it has come to my mind, for no apparent reason, the jigsaw puzzle of that big red planet that my father gave me as a present when I was still a child.
That was the day my imagination flew over to Mars forever and, since then, I’ve pursued only one dream: completing the Martian puzzle.
I miss you.
XXX"

In literature, music and cinema, in the spatial development and scientific progress, in our imagination… Mars has always created interest and curiosity and even today stands as a challenge for researchers. The Martian puzzle is a trip to Mars told through postcards on the edge between science and imagination. This exhibition provides you with access to groundbreaking information about Martian research and the work of the consortium UPWARDS, a state-of-the-art project which, through the cooperation of groups of excellence, aims to shape a comprehensive image of the red planet and to solve the Martian puzzle.

The exhibition is divided into several sections or scenarios, each with a main exhibition element and a series of secondary elements to support it and integrate it into the exhibition as a whole: The Arrangments | The Journey  | The Pieces | The Postcards

The Martian puzzle is an exhibition created by the Instituto de Astrofísica de Andalucía (IAA-CSIC) for UPWARDS: Understanding Planet Mars is an European project funded by the programme Horizon 2020.

The Arrangments |

“Before dreaming of Martian dancers and landing on the red land of the Oxia Planum, I travelled around Europe looking for the pieces I needed to the great journey.
I miss those days when I felt free.
I miss you, wherever you are. XXX"

The first step - the preparation - comprises an audiovisual section in which experts in the Martian research explain the open questions about the Red Planet.

 

The Journey  |

“It was a dream come true. Finally on my way to Mars. I felt like the main character of a videogame!
From this tiny blue point, millions of kilometers away, I was building a new path for everyone, even for you.
I miss you, wherever you are. XXX"

The second stage - the journey - will turn the visitor into the main character of the video game "Let's go to Mars", a scientific graphic adventure that currently has more than 180 000 downloads.

The Pieces |

“The pieces of that enormous red puzzle started to fit together.
It looks like a simple ochre point in the night sky, but it is a diamond that keeps the secrets about who we are.
I miss you, wherever you are. XXX”

The different visions of five national illustrators on different aspects of Martian research make up the giant pieces of a puzzle yet to be completed.

The Postcards |

“I don’t know where all these Martian postcards are going, but this will be the last one.
Those times that once were wonderful have ended and turned into this red sand that I have continuously breathed.
Life goes on here and there.
I will always miss you, wherever you are. XXX"

Finally, a strange desk and enigmatic postcards draw several questions in the air: Has this trip been real? Will the man step on Mars? Will the Martian Puzzle be solved someday?

The Martian puzzle: a general description
The Martian Puzzle is a cutting-edge exhibition of our current knowledge about Mars. It focuses on different aspects of research into the planet (dust, atmosphere, water cycle, subsurface, etc.) and it is designed to further the objectives of the UPWARDS project and the development of the ExoMars mission. Its bjectives are communicate the main goals and results of the UPWARDS project; to convey the latest scientific knowledge about Mars and the questions that remain unanswered and to communicate the importance of space exploration to the past, present and future knowledge of Mars, with special emphasis on the ExoMars and Mars Express missions.

Dates of the exhibition

Parque de las Ciencias de Granada - 15th May 2017 - 17th July 2017
Cité de l'espace (Toulouse) -  December, 2017

In the beginning, no one could have imagined having a picture of a Martian sunset. Neither was methane expected to be found. The existence of gullies of liquid water under the surface was unthinkable. Each new mission to Mars brings us surprises, enigmas, puzzle pieces that escape to outer space like its atmosphere. For each completed puzzle, a new one appears… yet to be solved.

Credits

The Martian puzzle is an exhibition created by the Instituto de Astrofísica de Andalucía (IAA-CSIC) for UPWARDS: Understanding Planet Mars is an European project funded by the programme Horizon 2020.

Organisers: Instituto de Astrofísica de Andalucía (IAA-CSIC)  | Consorcio UPWARDS
Coordinators: Emilio J. García Gómez-Caro (IAA-CSIC) | Ana María Navarro Tamayo (Laniakea Management & Communication)
Scientific Management: Miguel Ángel López-Valverde (IAA-CSIC) | Consorcio UPWARDS
Design & Production: Emilio J. García Gómez-Caro (IAA-CSIC)  | Ana María Navarro Tamayo (Laniakea Management & Communication) | José Luis Conde (Nexa producciones museográficas)
Audiovisual Production: Lypssinc Media Lab | Neu Circuita | Wild Sphere
Illustrations: Carmen Sotoca | Cristina Nogales | Diego Garrido | Eva Lí | Manolo Vaca | Rafael Fuentes
Translation: Sandra Guerrero García | Miguel Quintanilla García | Sara López González | Iria Robles López | Miguel Ángel Oliva Zamora | Alejandro Valenzuela Garrido
Communication Ana María Navarro Tamayo (Laniakea Management & Communication)
Virtual Visit: JMP3D-Solutions
Partnerships:  La cité de l’espace de Toulouse | Parque de las Ciencias de Granada | Fundación Española para la Ciencia y la Tecnología | Universidad de Granada – Facultad de Traducción e Interpretación.
Consortium UPWARDS: Instituto de Astrofísica de Andalucía (CSIC, España); The Open University (OU, Reino Unido); Institut d’Aéronomie Spatiale de Belgique (IASB, Bélgica); Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS, Francia); Istituto Nazionale di Astrofisica (INAF, Italia); Koninklijke Sterrenwacht van Belgie (ORB, Bélgica) and the Complutense University of Madrid (UCM, España).