. Mars Exploration News .

Follow Your Curiosity: Some New Ways to Explore Mars
by Staff Writers
Pasadena CA (JPL) Jul 17, 2012

A "virtual rover experience" and a body-action video game are among the options for public participation in NASA's Mars Science Laboratory mission. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech.

As NASA's Mars Rover Curiosity prepares to land on Mars, public audiences worldwide can take their own readiness steps to share in the adventure. Landing is scheduled for about 10:31 p.m. PDT on Aug. 5 (1:31 a.m. EDT on Aug. 6), at mission control inside NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.

Martian fans can help NASA test-drive a new 3-D interactive experience that will allow the public to follow along with Curiosity's discoveries on Mars. Using Unity, a game development tool, NASA is pushing new limits by rendering high-resolution terrain maps of Gale Crater, Curiosity's landing site, collected from Mars orbiters. A 3-D "virtual rover" version of Curiosity will follow the path of the real rover as it makes discoveries.

By downloading Unity and trying out the experience early, the public can reduce potential download delays during landing and offer feedback on the pre-landing beta version of the experience. By crowd sourcing - leveraging the wisdom and experience of citizens everywhere - NASA can help ensure the best experience across individual users' varying computer systems.

"Technology is making it possible for the public to participate in exploration as they never have before," said Michelle Viotti, Mars public engagement manager at JPL. "Because Mars exploration is fundamentally a shared human endeavor, we want everyone around the globe to have the most immersive experience possible."

In collaboration with Microsoft, Corp., NASA has a number of forthcoming experiences geared for inspiration and learning in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). With Xbox, NASA is unveiling "Mars Rover Landing," an immersive experience for the Xbox 360 home entertainment console.

The experience allows users to take control of their own spacecraft using Kinect and face the extreme challenges of landing a rover on Mars. The game will be hosted in the Xbox Live Marketplace and in a special destination on the Xbox Live dashboard dedicated to the Curiosity rover. The dashboard will also include pictures, video and more information about the mission.

Additionally, a new Mars experience in Kodu, which allows children to learn computational thinking by creating their own video games, is designed to help students learn about commanding a rover on a quest to make discoveries about whether Mars was ever a habitat, a place that supports life.

Standards-aligned curricula for teachers will also bring these 21st-century computer skills directly into the classroom and into afterschool organizations supporting academic success and college readiness.

For quick access to discoveries on Mars as they happen, NASA's "Be A Martian" mobile application, initially developed with Microsoft for Windows Phone, will be available on Android and iPhone as well. NASA is also planning a series of Mars exploration apps for the upcoming Windows 8 PCs.

"We are very excited to be working with NASA to bring innovation and exploration into the home. We continue to believe that as industry leaders, we have vested interest in advancing science and technology education," said Walid Abu-Habda, corporate vice president, Developer and Platform Evangelism, at Microsoft.

"We hope that through partnering on the Mars Rover experience, we spark interest and excitement among the next generation of scientists and technologists."

For a cool, immersive view of Mars Rover Curiosity and other spacecraft, space enthusiasts can also use their Apple iPhones to access a new augmented-reality experience that "projects" 3-D images of robotic explorers for first-hand, up-close inspection. For those wanting a live, community experience, museums and civic groups worldwide are hosting Curiosity landing events, often with big-screen experiences and public talks.

"Multiple partnerships united around science literacy can really make a difference in reaching and inspiring more people around the world," Viotti said. "NASA welcomes innovative collaborations that inspire lifelong learning and access to discovery and innovation."

Related Links
Mars Science Lab
Mars News and Information at MarsDaily.com
Lunar Dreams and more

Get Our Free Newsletters Via Email
Buy Advertising Editorial Enquiries


. Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Fireworks Over Mars: The Spirit of 76 Pyrotechnics
Pasadena CA (JPL) Jul 03, 2012
One month and a day after celebrating its independence with fireworks exhibitions throughout the country, America will carry its penchant for awe-inspiring aerial pyrotechnic displays to the skies of another world. Some pyrotechnics will be as small as the energy released by a box of matches. One packs the same oomph as a stick of TNT. Whether they be large or small, on the evening of Augu ... read more

ESA to catch laser beam from Moon mission

Researchers Estimate Ice Content of Crater at Moon's South Pole

Researchers find evidence of ice content at the moon's south pole

Nanoparticles found in moon glass bubbles explain weird lunar soil behaviour

Astronauts in good shape after return

China's manned spacecraft in final preparations for mid-June launch

Shenzhou mission sparks 'science fever'

China Beats Russia on Space Launches

New crew docks with space station: Russia

Joyful crews unite aboard space station

Russian Space Lab Launch Delayed Again

Russian rocket launches new crew to space

Hubble Discovers a Fifth Moon Orbiting Pluto

Hubble telescope spots fifth moon near Pluto

New Horizons Doing Science in Its Sleep

It's a Sim: Out in Deep Space, New Horizons Practices the 2015 Pluto Encounter

Saturn's Rings are Back

The Titanian Seasons Turn, Turn, Turn

Cassini Flies High to View Saturn's Rings Again

Titan's tides point to hidden ocean

NASA's Landsat Data Continuity Mission Becomes an Observatory

New eyes in the sky

IGARSS 2012 - 'Remote Sensing for a Dynamic Earth'

MSG-3 set to ensure quality of Europe's weather service from geostationary orbit

Inflatable Spacecraft Heat Shield Set to Launch

Titanic II to have 'safety deck': Australian tycoon

Ambitious ISRO enhancing India's space capabilities

Me and My Spacesuit

Can Astronomers Detect Exoplanet Oceans

The Mysterious Case of the Disappearing Dust

Study in Nature sheds new light on planet formation

New Instrument Sifts Through Starlight to Reveal New Worlds

Memory Foam Mattress Review

Newsletters :: SpaceDaily Express :: SpaceWar Express :: TerraDaily Express :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News


The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2012 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement