NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) has reportedly released a 360 degree view of the Martian surface using Oculus Rift technology to produce an immersive virtual reality (VR) experience that will awe the viewer to no end.
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The images were taken by NASA’s Curiosity rover and converted into a virtual reality experience by Facebook’s 360 degree video team. Remember the social media site acquired Oculus Rift last year. The rover took the images on December 8, 2015 using its Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) robot arm.
In the video, the Mount Sharp and Namib sand dunes can be seen against the larger Bagnold dunes, giving the VR presentation a fascinating quality that only the best technology can achieve.
To this end, NASA is working to develop a VR app that shows images taken by the Curiosity rover and other landers on Mars so that users can watch them using Oculus Rift, Samsung Gear VR, and HTC Vive among other VR headsets.
Erin Mahoney, NASA’s senior communications manager, disclosed that making a success of Mars missions is very important to NASA because the space agency desires that commercial and private individuals be able to visit Mars at a time to come in order to experience what life really is out there.
The VR app being developed by NASA will be called “Mars 2030” and it will be available to Android, iPhone, and Playstation VR users. To be able to watch things on Mars via your computer, space scientists say you might have to install a Google Cardboard viewer on your system, and alternatively you can equally use your smartphone for the same purpose.
Most of the images contained in the 360 degree VR was taken where the Curiosity rover took its self-image sometime ago, and this was also where the machine took soil samples that were to be sent back for assessment here on Earth.