NASA's Perseverance launch sparks new Zippo 'Mars 2020' lighter

Zippo's limited edition Mars 2020 collectible lighter commemorates the launch of NASA's Perseverance rover to Mars. (Image credit: Zippo)

The liftoff of NASA's Perseverance rover sparked the launch of a new collectible in celebration of the Mars 2020 mission.

Zippo, the iconic U.S. brand of reusable metal lighters, revealed its latest limited edition lighter in time with the start of NASA's first mission to search for and cache signs of microbial life on the Red Planet.

"Celebrating today's steps toward the future of Martian exploration," Zippo posted to its website on Thursday morning (July 30) as a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida

In photos: NASA's Mars Perseverance rover mission to the Red Planet 

Zippo's Mars 2020 collectible lighter features a gold plated Mars and laser engraved wireframe of the Perseverance rover.  (Image credit: Zippo)

The Mars Rover 2020 Collectible Lighter, which is only available through Zippo's online store, features a high-polish, black body with wireframe laser engravings depicting the Perseverance rover and Martian surface topography. The lighter also uses Zippo's new selective gold plating process to gild the Red Planet, casting a warm red Martian hue over the image.

The front of the lighter is inscribed "Mars 2020" between the gold-plated image of Mars and the wireframe surface design. The rover decorates the opposite side.

Limited to 1,000 consecutively-numbered pieces and packaged in a "luxury cube box," the Mars Rover 2020 Collectible Lighter retails for $125 each.

Zippo's new Mars 2020 collectible lighter is a limited edition of 1,000 pieces and is exclusively available from the Zippo website for $125 each. (Image credit: Zippo)

The Mars Rover 2020 Collectible Lighter continues a more than 50-year legacy of Zippo celebrating U.S. achievements in space. The company has made lighters with NASA and aerospace contractor designs dating back to the start of the space age.

Previous Zippo lighter designs have commemorated NASA's human spaceflight programs, Mercury, Gemini, Apollo and the space shuttle. In particular, Zippo has been releasing lighters in celebration of the Apollo 11 first moon landing since the achievement was made in 1969, through 2019 for the mission's 50th anniversary.

The Mars 2020 mission, which is scheduled to land in Mars' Jezero Crater on Feb. 18, 2021, includes the Perseverance rover and Ingenuity helicopter. The vehicles are designed to achieve several firsts, including sending the first sound recordings back from Mars, collecting the first samples for a future return to Earth and making the first powered flight on another planet.

The Perseverance rover is also the first spacecraft to support experiments directly aimed at advancing the day humans walk on Mars.

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Robert Z. Pearlman Editor, Contributor

Robert Pearlman is a space historian, journalist and the founder and editor of, an online publication and community devoted to space history with a particular focus on how and where space exploration intersects with pop culture. Pearlman is also a contributing writer for and co-author of "Space Stations: The Art, Science, and Reality of Working in Space” published by Smithsonian Books in 2018. He previously developed online content for the National Space Society and Apollo 11 moonwalker Buzz Aldrin, helped establish the space tourism company Space Adventures and currently serves on the History Committee of the American Astronautical Society, the advisory committee for The Mars Generation and leadership board of For All Moonkind. In 2009, he was inducted into the U.S. Space Camp Hall of Fame in Huntsville, Alabama. In 2021, he was honored by the American Astronautical Society with the Ordway Award for Sustained Excellence in Spaceflight History.