While we won’t be seeing Mars with our own eyes for some years, NASA has revealed the next best thing: an interactive 360-degree video taken on the Red Planet.
NASA shared the incredibly immersive video on Facebook, which allows you to click and drag around the screen to explore the Martian lands, even via your smartphone.
The panorama was created by patching together 57 images of the sandy plains of Mars' Bagnold Dune Field, taken on January 19 of this year by the Curiosity rover. NASA said that the camera, which took a composite of images around the rover’s base, is on the end of the rover’s selfie-stick arm to give the impression its “arm” isn’t there.
360-degree videos on Facebook are still a pretty recent development. So, Facebook don Mark Zuckerberg shared and showed off the video himself, saying, “This is just the beginning of what we can do with virtual reality and 360 video. Pretty amazing.”
NASA has also told Gizmodo that they have more plans for immersive technology like this. By the summer, they hope to release a complete virtual reality Mars simulator.
Use your smart phone to explore Mars with me in 360 degrees. #FromWhereIStand
Posted by NASA’s Curiosity Mars Rover on Saturday, 30 January 2016