A Street View for Mars: App Showcases Rover Snaps from Red Planet [PICS]

Mashable

A new app that provides stunning images of the Martian surface taken by a NASA rover currently exploring the planet has been released for iPhone and Android devices.

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The free Mars Images app – created by computer scientist Mark Powell of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory – allows users to browse archived and new pictures taken from The Opportunity Mars Exploration Rover, which has been on Mars since 2004. The rover has been snapping pictures of the surface and making big discoveries, such as finding evidence that water was once on the planet, since its arrival.

NASA plans to add images to the archive of Opportunity’s sister rover, The Spirit. Both Spirit and Opportunity were put on Mars in January 2004 to conduct a 90-day mission of exploration, but the rovers stayed well past their mission time. Although the Spirit’s mission ended in mid-2011, Opportunity continues to explore Mars’s surface today.

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The six-wheeled vehicles – which are controlled by NASA employees on Earth – feature various cameras to take images of Mars and its surface, such as navigation, panoramic, hazard-avoidance and microscopic imager cameras to take pictures of small rocks.

The app will also send pictures to directly to mobile devices once new ones become available.

Image courtesy of NASA via Powellware.com

This story originally published on Mashable here.

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