“Access Mars” Allows Walking on The Red Planet with WebVR Experiments
Great news for the Mars fan!! You can now have a chance to “walk” on the Mars surface by using the browser in the Access Mars site. Beside walking on the Red Planet, you will also have the opportunity to have the closer view of the legendary rover, Curiosity, and find out the discoveries made by it. Cool, huh? This is made possible with the capability of the browser to support virtual reality technology.
Thanks to NASA and Google for making it happen. Although it is just a 3D model or replica of the planet’s surface, but it is based on the actual and exact recording of the Curiosity while it is “wandering” on Mars. Furthermore, the digital photographs are taken with two stereoscopic camera systems.
There are four main steps that are involved when the scientists at NASA JPL work to map the terrain. First, is to capture the images with the left and right cam. Next, the two image mosaics are combine together to create the stereo match. Then, they will extract the 3D mapping data. The last step is for the scientists to tile the terrain data into a composite piece of terrain.
One great thing is, this is also one of the WebVR Experiments from Google. WebVR is simply a technique to bring the virtual reality to the web. So the normal user like most of the surfers on this planet Earth can experience the VR by just opening the browser and clicking a link. As simple as that. This shown how serious Google is in improving the virtual reality ecosystem.
Thanks also to Katie Stack Morgan from NASA’s JPL, we now have a chance to explore Mars ourselves and perhaps can be the first to stumble or discover any Martian if they exist. You can try it using your desktop, smartphone or your VR headet. For more info, you visit:
1) The Official Website of Access Mars.
2) MARS Exploration Program from NASA.