NASA now allows you to explore Mars and virtually tour the Martian surface through a 360-degree video. The new video has been developed by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory using several high-definition images captured through the Mars Curiosity rover on December 18 last year.
Uploaded on YouTube, the 360-degree video is the result of the images that were captured using a Mast Camera. You can use YouTube app on your smartphone or tablet to get the best experience of watching the Martian surface. Also, the video has a VR option to deliver you an advanced experience through a virtual reality (VR) headset such as Google Cardboard or Samsung Gear VR.
“This view of the downwind face of ‘Namib Dune’ on Mars covers 360 degrees, including a portion of Mount Sharp on the horizon,” the Jet Propulsion Laboratory explains in the video description. “The site is part of the dark-sand ‘Bagnold Dunes’ field along the northwestern flank of Mount Sharp.”
This isn’t the first time when NASA offered a virtual experience of the Martian surface. It released the initial version of the 360-degree video on Facebook last month. However, that version was not as clear as the latest version due to disorientation of some images that were clipped in the sequence.
Pasadena, California-headquartered Jet Propulsion Laboratory has used YouTube’s recent update to offer the 360-degree video. It comes months after the space agency tied up with Microsoft to let rover scientists explore the red planet using the HoloLens headset.
Car-sized Curiosity rover was landed on Mars in August 2012 to kick-start NASA’s Mars Science Laboratory mission. It has as many as 17 camera sensors to make new developments successful. Earlier this year, Curiosity came in news for sending the world’s first “rover selfie”.