Amanda Connolly is a reporter for The Next Web, currently based in London. Originally from Ireland, Amanda previously worked in press and ed Amanda Connolly is a reporter for The Next Web, currently based in London. Originally from Ireland, Amanda previously worked in press and editorial at the Web Summit. She’s interested in all things tech, with a particular fondness for lifestyle and creative tech and the spaces where these intersect. Twitter
Have you ever dreamed of being an astronaut and exploring Mars? Well, that’s probably not going to become a reality in our lifetime but luckily, NASA has teamed up with Microsoft to offer the next best thing – Destination: Mars.
The mixed-reality project will launch this summer and offers everyone a chance to discover and explore the Red Planet using Microsoft’s HoloLens at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
The experience was created using mapping data and images from NASA’s Curiosity rover, which has been on Mars since 2012. Visitors to the exhibition will be able to explore the various sites NASA has studied on Mars, with a guided VR tour conducted by a hologram of Apollo 11 astronaut Buzz Aldrin, who was one of the first people to ever walk on the surface of the moon.
I'm honored to be the one welcoming people to #Mars through @NASA using #HoloLens #DestinationMars https://t.co/bDxP7YMNR9
— Buzz Aldrin (@TheRealBuzz) March 30, 2016
Destination: Mars derived from a Microsoft tool called OnSight that NASA’s been using to direct the Curiosity rover around the planet from earth. The software allows NASA’s researchers to determine the areas on Mars that the rover should go to next and picks out geological formations on the surface.
By bringing the tool to life in a new way, NASA is better able to showcase the Curiosity rover’s successes and discoveries to the public in a much more interactive context.
NASA has also brought its exhibition to Microsoft’s Build event so if you happen to be there, you could be among the first to explore Mars… from earth.
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