'Rough Guide to Mars' – scientists offer virtual reality tours of the surface of Mars

Jul 03, 2006
'Rough Guide to Mars' – scientists offer virtual reality tours of the surface of Mars
'Rough Guide to Mars' – scientists offer virtual reality tours of the surface of Mars

The dramatic landscapes of Mars will be brought to life at this week's Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition, thanks to work carried out by a team of geologists and engineers at Imperial, University College London and the Open University.

Using new images generated by the European Space Agency's Mars Express High Resolution Stereo Camera, the team has created 3D visualisations of the canyons, volcanoes and craters of the Red Planet.

This 'Rough Guide to Mars' will allow visitors to take the controls and explore canyons carved by gigantic floods, peer down into volcanoes and plunge into a frozen sea, recently discovered by the Mars Express spacecraft. Dr Sanjeev Gupta, of Imperial's Department of Earth Science and Engineering, comments:

"It will be great fun,like having your very own jetpack and whizzing around the Martian landscape without leaving your chair."

As well as bringing Martian landscapes to life, the technology gives geologists new opportunities to examine geological features that provide important clues to the planet's evolution and history. Dr Gupta adds:

"The more we see of the surface of Mars, the more exciting it becomes. At Imperial we are investigating features created by huge catastrophic floods that form deep beneath the surface, where life may have developed. Theres every chance that future explorations could bring back proof that Earth is not the only planet in our Solar System supporting living organisms."

The team will also display a meteorite from Mars and a scale model of the ESA's Mars Express.

Source: University College London

Explore further: Cassini sees sunny seas on Titan

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

'Eau de comet' is a bit of a stinker

Oct 23, 2014

Rotten eggs, horse pee, alcohol and bitter almonds: this is the bouquet of odours you would smell if a comet in deep space could be brought back to Earth, European scientists said on Thursday.

The formation and development of desert dunes on Titan

Oct 23, 2014

Combining climate models and observations of the surface of Titan from the Cassini probe, a team from the AIM Astrophysics Laboratory (CNRS / CEA / Paris Diderot University) , in collaboration with researchers ...

Packing for Mars

Oct 22, 2014

Like surgeons in an operating room, the technicians work gowned and masked in ESA's ultraclean microbiology laboratory, ensuring a high-tech sensor will not contaminate the Red Planet with terrestrial microbes.

Recommended for you

Questions as Virgin spaceship crashes, killing pilot

1 hour ago

Virgin's pioneering tourist-carrying spacecraft crashed on a test flight in California on Friday, killing a pilot and scattering debris across the desert—and raising questions about space tourism's future.

Branson shocked as Virgin spaceship crash kills pilot

2 hours ago

Virgin's pioneering tourist-carrying spacecraft crashed on a test flight in California on Friday, killing a pilot and scattering debris across the desert—and raising questions about the program's future. ...

China completes first mission to moon and back

14 hours ago

China completed its first return mission to the moon early Saturday with the successful re-entry and landing of an unmanned probe, state media reported, in the latest step forward for Beijing's ambitious ...

Tracking a gigantic sunspot across the Sun

14 hours ago

An active region on the sun – an area of intense and complex magnetic fields – rotated into view on Oct. 18, 2014. Labeled AR 12192, it soon grew into the largest such region in 24 years, and fired off ...

Spacecraft for tourists explodes on test flight (Update)

18 hours ago

A winged spaceship designed to take tourists on excursions beyond Earth's atmosphere exploded during a test flight Friday over the Mojave Desert, killing a pilot in the second fiery setback for commercial ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.