Scientists Visit Mars through Augmented Reality

By Darcey Haynes

The Red Planet Can Now Be Studied by NASA Researchers, Providing Valuable Insight Into the Martian Landscape

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Virtual reality; something that many of us associate with new media social innovations such as Second Life, in which the user can visit different worlds and interact with Internet dwellers from across the globe through the use of an avatar.

Despite this evolution in the way that we connect with one another in the modern world, rather than exploring cyberspace, scientists at NASA have created a use of not the virtual, but augmented reality and how this can be used to better our understanding of the Universe.

Whilst the possibility of stepping foot on Mars is light years away ( the 2030’s), NASA has created a new technology in which researchers can freely roam and study our alien neighbor. NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) have teamed up with Microsoft to create a new software; OnSight , and with the combination of the HoloLens headset, can now explore Mars from Earth, more than 140 million miles away.

Check out NASA’s OnSight Software in Action!

The software utilizes actual data gathered by the Curiosity Rover on Mars, and constructs a holographic simulation of it’s landscape, regularly being updated and remaining accurate. The augmented duplication allows researchers to interact with the landscape, with JPL software engineer, Parker Abercrombie to enthuse: “What’s really exciting is what we’re looking at is a reconstruction from Mars” formed by “real data send by the Curiosity Rover”. Confirming the software’ s accuracy, Abercrombie went on to say that “this isn’t an artist’s conception of what Mars looks like- this is what Mars actually looks like”.

So, deactivate your Habbo hotel accounts people- in the near future, you too can visit the Red Planet, all whilst drinking your cuppa in your pajamas.

 

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