Since we can’t go to Mars, at least for now, why not bring Mars to us? That seems to be what Caltech scientists had in mind when they came up with a huge 5.7 terapixel map of the Red Planet.
The map was realized in collaboration with NASA, as the science team took data collected by the Reconnaissance Orbiter. The best news is that the resulting map can be accessed by just about anyone who has a device that’s connected to the internet and knows how to use it.
Behold the Global CTX Mosaic of Mars!
The map of the Red Planet in question is known as the Global CTX Mosaic of Mars and can be found at this link. Virtually navigating across the surface of Mars becomes child’s play thanks to the new map that shows various surface elements of our neighboring planet in 3D: craters, mountains, and so on.
Jay Dickson, leader of the project and the image processing scientist, stated, as SciTechDaily quotes:
I wanted something that would be accessible to everyone,
Schoolchildren can use this now. My mother, who just turned 78, can use this now. The goal is to lower the barriers for people who are interested in exploring Mars.
The Mars Reconnaissance Rover launched to Mars almost two decades ago, in 2005. Its goal was to search for traces of water on the Red Planet, and it’s capable of reaching a speed of over 10,000km/h.
Rich Zurek of JPL stated as the same publication mentioned above quotes:
For 17 years, MRO has been revealing Mars to us as no one had seen it before,
This mosaic is a wonderful new way to explore some of the imagery that we’ve collected.
Before complaining that humanity has never gone to Mars yet, maybe it’s best just to count our blessings.