On average, Mars is about 140 million miles (approximately 225 km) away from the Earth. The average person most likely won’t get to explore the surface of the red planet in their lifetime, but new technology has made it possible to bring the red planet to your screen.
A team of NASA scientists has been conducting research on Devon Island off the coast of Canada. The island’s terrain is similar to what astronauts would encounter on Mars, and this research will help NASA understand what awaits them in the harsh, unyielding climate of our planetary neighbor. Google released this video about the scientists and their research.
Through Google Street View, you can now explore Devon Island, too.
More resources for Mars-lovers
In 2012, the Curiosity Rover landed on Mars and began shooting photos of the planet’s surface. Since then, the rover has taken about 200,000 photos, all of which have been sent back to NASA’s Jet Propulsion Labs who have been working to convert the images into a 3D model. In 2017, NASA partnered with Google Creative Lab to create Access Mars, where you can explore a 3D model of the planet from your browser.
And if that doesn’t scratch your interplanetary itch, Lockheed Martin created a virtual reality app called Mars Walk. After placing your phone in a VR headset, you can get a full view of Mars while a narrator tells you about expeditions to Mars, and what they learned from their research. You can also visit the Curiosity rover and visit your virtual space module.