NASA has put in place a couple of exciting new tools which allow anyone online to follow the action as the Curiosity rover explores the surface of Mars.
While few people alive today will have the opportunity to set foot on the red planet, now, thanks to NASA, anyone can get a feel for the experience using two great new tools on their website.
Anyone fascinated by Mars will love these new toys, as NASA’s public outreach campaign now gives us the opportunity to have a little fun on the red planet in our spare time.
The service was set up by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory to commemorate the three-year anniversary of Curiosity rover’s landing on Mars and offers two new web tools, allowing you to explore the surface of mars and cruise alongside the fascinating rover as it goes.
Ireland’s Technology Blog quotes Jim Green, director of NASA’s Planetary Science Division in Washington, as saying that these tools will help pave the way for scientists and the public to explore another world.
“This tool has opened my eyes as to how we should first approach roaming on another world, and now the public can join in on the fun.
Our robotic scientific explorers are paving the way, making great progress on the journey to Mars. Together, humans and robots will pioneer Mars and the solar system.”
Mars Trek offers the Internet user detailed visualizations of the surface of Mars. The tool is highly sophisticated and draws on several decades of scientific exploration into the planet. For those who wish, it is possible to overlap a series of different data sets, plus visit previous rover landing sites on Mars. Those with the right expertise and frame of mind can also perform distance calculations and elevation plotting.
Anyone into geology can get a clear view of Candos Chasma and Olympus Mons and, of course, anyone dreaming of moving to Mars in the future can launch a search for the perfect crater to set up home.
The second tool, Experience Curiosity (pictured above) gives everyone the opportunity to ride along with Curiosity rover as the vehicle bumbles its way across the rugged red terrain. There is also the opportunity to learn about all the components of this trusty little vehicle and what they actually do on Mars.
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For gamers, this tool is great fun, as it has a definite video game feel to it. They can manipulate the Curiosity rover’s tools and see the sights in first person mode through each of the rover’s cameras.
Naturally, Mars conspiracy theorists will be thrilled to bits using both tools. They will then experience first-hand all the wonderful things that have allegedly been spotted by the Curiosity rover, as reported recently on the Inquisitr. These include such out of this world sights as UFO drones flying over the craters, alien crab monsters, Illuminati Sun God symbols, pyramids, religious icons, and so much more.
Seriously, though, anyone will a real interest in space and other planets can have a great time exploring where Curiosity rover has gone before us.
Until such time as an actual Mars colony has been successfully set up and is accepting more residents, these tools will prove invaluable and a whole load of fun.
[Images: Screengrabs from NASA Mars Trek and Experience Curiosity / Curiosity selfie courtesy NASA]