Take Interactive Tours of Mars with Microsoft's WorldWide Telescope
Article by George Norman
On 20 Jul 2010
By using the WorldWide Telescope, an application developed by Redmond-based software giant Microsoft and the United States National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), you can now take interactive tours of Mars. During these tours users can view exclusive imagery from NASA Mars missions – these are high-resolution images of Mars that you will not find anywhere else.

Users don’t have access to images alone; they also have access to sound. During the interactive Mars tours you can take with the WorldWide Telescope, users can listen to NASA scientists.


“We wanted to make it easier for people everywhere, as well as scientists, to access these unique and valuable images. NASA had the images and they were open to new ways to share them. Through the WorldWide Telescope we were able to build a user interface at WWT|Mars that would allow people to take advantage of the great content they had,” commented Dan Fay, director of Microsoft Research’s Earth, Energy and Environment effort, who has been working with NASA since early 2009 to make the agency’s volumes of information available to the general public.

“NASA has a history of providing the public with access to our spacecraft imagery. With projects like the WorldWide Telescope, we’re working to provide greater access so that future generations of scientists can discover space in their own way,” explained Michael Broxton of the NASA Ames Research Center’s Intelligent Robotics Group (IRG).

The WorldWide Telescope was launched back in March 2009 after Microsoft and NASA signed a Space Act Agreement with the goal of making planetary images and outer space data available online for people all over the world. As Microsoft explained at the time, over 100TB of high-resolution scientific images and data related to the moon and planet Mars will be processed and hosted by NASA’s Ames Research Center in Mountain View. All that data will be then incorporated by Microsoft into the online virtual telescope known as the WorldWide Telescope.

To get started with the WorldWide Telescope, please click here.

Tags: Microsoft, NASA, WorldWide Telescope
About the author: George Norman
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