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NASA Releases 360-Degree Video of Mars Surface

Apr 30, 2016 09:23 AM EDT
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Curiosity Self-Portrait at 'Mojave' on Mount Sharp
A self-portrait of the Curiosity Rover on the Red Planet
(Photo : NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS via Getty Images)

It looks like the Curiosity rover is still active. NASA recently released 360-degree video of Mars. Everyone who has access to computers and smart phones can access the video and see the surface of Mars up-close and in the widest, most interactive way possible.

The rocky terrain of the surface of the red planet didn't hinder the Curiosity rover from exploring the planet. In a report by ABC news, they said that the rover is almost done crossing the most rugged terrain on the planet, the Gale Crater, since its arrival on Mars in 2012.

The state-of-the-art rover managed to conquer the terrains of Naukluft Plateau of the lower Mount Sharp early this year.

In the interactive 360 degree video released by NASA, viewers can explore the surface of Mars by scrolling the screen, or using a mouse pointer. The two-minute video shows what the rocky Mars surface looks like. Mount Sharp can also be seen in the video.

The rover is also equipped with technology allowing it to capture panoramic videos form the highest view on the surface. Its mission to explore the red planet includes sending back images it was able to capture, and yes, the rover did deliver.

NASA said "The scenes show wind-sculpted textures in the sandstone bedrock close to the rover, and Gale Crater's rim rising above the crater floor in the distance."

Aside from site-seeing, the rover is also tasked to help scientists observe and understand the conditions on the planet if indeed any form of life existed on Mars, no matter how microscopic they were.

In 2015, the Curiosity rover also sent a "selfie" back to earth to show how the machine looks like on top of the red planet.

With the date of NASA's Journey to Mars fast approaching, the Curiosity Rover is doing its job providing information for the team.

NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory deputy project manager Steve Lee said that the rover is designed and ready for the daunting task. He said the rover can surpass the unforgiving terrain of the red planet, noting that "Cracks and punctures have been gradually accumulating at the pace we anticipated."

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