Google Mars

NASA and Google Launch Virtual Exploration of Mars

Google Mars 3D allows users to see Mars through the eyes of NASA’s Mars Exploration Rovers.
Credit: NASA/JPL

NASA and Google announced the release of a new Mars mode in Google Earth that brings to everyone’s desktop a
high-resolution, three-dimensional view of the Red Planet.

Besides providing a rich, immersive 3D view of Mars that will aid
public understanding of Mars science, the new mode, Google Mars 3D,
also gives researchers a platform for sharing data similar to what
Google Earth provides for Earth scientists. The mode enables users to fly virtually through enormous canyons and
scale huge mountains on Mars that are much larger than any found on
Earth. Users also can explore the Red Planet through the eyes of the
Mars rovers and other Mars missions, providing a unique perspective of
the entire planet.

Google Mars 3D uses data from missions like NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.
Credit: NASA/JPL

Users can see some of the latest satellite imagery from NASA’s Mars
Reconnaissance Orbiter and other probes orbiting the Red Planet.
Viewers can learn about new discoveries and explore indexes of
available Mars imagery. The new Mars mode also allows users to add
their own 3D content to the Mars map to share with the world.

This announcement is the latest benefit from a Space Act Agreement
NASA’s Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, Calif., signed with
Google in November 2006. Under its terms, NASA and Google agreed to
collaborate to make NASA’s data sets available to the world.

NASA Ames, along with its partners at Google, Carnegie Mellon
University, SETI, and other institutions, helped produce the data to
make this possible.