Friday, January 27, 2012

Explore Mars In First-Person... NOW!

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but most of us if not ALL of us will most likely NEVER walk on the surface of Mars in our lifetime... 

Despite this eye-opening fact, we can still experience the next best thing with these interactive sites from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory that allows us to explore the surface of Mars in a Google Earth-ish kinda way... 
The first of the two interactive sites allows you to swipe, zoom and fly around the Gale Crater in high detail... the similarities to Google Earth are evident except it's frreeaaaakkinn' MARS... How Cool Is This! The second site puts you in full control in the driver seat of the Mars Rover Spirit as it roams the surface exploring craters. Just like the Google Maps Street View feature, the interactive capabilities of these sites are truly inspiring...  (see demo video below) 
...especially for this wannabe astronaut.
This is all part of NASA JPL/CalTech's outreach program. It's one thing to tell us what a rover saw and how far it went. It's quite another to drive along its tracks. It's more visceral and infinitely more engaging. It inspires you to want to know more about these, some of the most incredible expeditions the human race has ever undertaken. It's downright inspiring.
....if you have some time to spare, I encourage all of you to check this out :)

via gizmodo 
• explore gale crater
• spirit's journey

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