Published on Wednesday, 18 July 2012
NASA’s virtual Mars rover experience was developed with Unity and will debut online via
the Unity Web Player as the Curiosity rover lands on Mars.
|NASA’s Curiosity rover, a mobile laboratory carried by the Mars Science Laboratory spacecraft, will land near the Martian equator at approximately 6.30am British Standard Time on 6 August 2012. The Curiosity rover will assess whether the Martain environment is now or has ever been able to support microbial life.|
|Fans of Mars can help NASA test drive a new 3D interactive experience that will allow the public to follow along with Curiosity's discoveries on Mars. Using Unity, NASA will be rendering high-resolution terrain maps of Gale Crater, Curiosity's landing site, collected from Mars orbiters. A 3D ‘virtual rover’ version of Curiosity will follow the path of the real rover as it collects data.|
|By downloading Unity and trying out the experience early, the public can reduce potential download delays during landing and send their responses to the pre-landing beta version of the experience. NASA anticipates that this crowd sourcing approach may help them improve the experience across individual users' varying computer systems.|
|NASA’s Mars Science Laboratory mission will place the Curiosity Rover onto the surface inside Gale Crater on Mars and use it to investigate the area’s past and present environments. The landing will use active guidance for improved landing accuracy and a skycrane for touchdown. The rover is equipped with 10 science investigations and a robotic arm that can drill into rocks, scoop up soil and deliver samples to internal analytical instruments. The mission will assess whether the area has offered conditions favourable for life and favorable for preserving a rock record of evidence about whether life has existed there. Curiosity has the capability to drive for 20kms or more during a mission lasting one Martian year, or 98 weeks. http://unity3d.com|