NASA and Google let you tour Mars through your browser



Although it seems impossible for us to physically visit Mars soon, touring the “Red Planet” via browser is now


By working with NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab (JPL), Google released a website earlier this month – a 3D model of views on Mars through photos taken by Curiosity, the Mars rover launched from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in the US on November 26, 2011.

Screenshot via Access Mars

Dubbed “Access Mars”, the website could be opened on both mobile devices and computers, and users can either drag the screen to travel the planet or watch a 360-degree view through virtual reality (VR) headsets.

The tour follows a map of Curiosity’s mission sites from its landing locations to places like Pahrump Hills and to its current location. At each site, users can click on virtual floating bubbles and learn about Mars and the rover.

Screenshot via Access Mars

This experience is built using WebVR, a technology that lets people see virtual reality in browsers without installing any apps, said Ryan Burke, interactive producer of Google’s Creative Lab, in a blog post.

According to the tech giant, JPL will continuously update the data to show users where Curiosity has just been in the past few days or weeks.