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Want to explore Mars? Red Rover can be your best opportunity

During the festive holiday season in 2016, Alan Chan spent his week's holiday time exploring Mars. Like most of us did last minute Christmas shopping, ate turkey, and reminded us why discussing politics with daddy is a bad idea, Chan shook, carefree, over Mars's ruddy surface in a robbery spacebuggy. It's not a bad time to get away from the earth as it happens!

"You're watching satellite data and you just have no scale, huh?" Chan said Digital Trends. "You think, like" here are some mountains ", but you do not get what it would really like if you stood there. It's like going up in an airplane. All the cities you've been on and the roads you drive around suddenly looks completely different. [Being on the surface] completely changes your perception. "

Flat images can be made 3D and run through the Unreal engine to make it an excellent experience.

Before we come on, we should note that no, I missed the biggest homebrew rocketry story in any way. If you feel that you saw something about a solo Mars explorer on TV ever before, you will almost certainly remember Matt Damon's character from The Martian .

Chan ̵

1; a video filmmaker from California – was not physically on Mars. Instead, he investigated the red planet through a hacked-together homeproject where he took satellite and terrain data from the HiRISE (High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment) camera on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter and transformed it into a photorealistic virtual recreation of martian landscape [19659002] "These data were available online for scientific purposes," he continued. "What I did was take that information and reshape it so that I could put it in a game engine." With a stylish triangulation software, flat images could be transformed into three dimensions and run through the Unreal engine to make it an explanatory experience. "I do not think anyone else had done it before," he said.

Alan Chan

The result is something, until Elon Musk and others finally get their action together, lets users explore the Mars sights – from the huge Victoria Crater to Candor Chasma, one of the largest canyons in the Valles Marineri canyon planet . You can even play it in full immersive virtual reality, with an Oculus Rift headset.

Less Games, More Data Visualization

In the end, Red Rover is not really a game. There are no missionaries, no evil foreigners who lurk behind stones should be cut down and no way to die. What it is is an impressive demonstration of advanced data visualization; The way creators can take advantage of the amazing space data produced by organizations like NASA and turn it into something that is easily accessible and understandable to the rest of us.

"I would like to visualize flying through Great Red Spot on Jupiter but I do not have enough data to do it yet."

It's not entirely correct, Chan acknowledged. The Martian Buggy itself, by its own admission, is ridiculously overrated. He also took some freedoms with the surrounding wind noise, which is there to make it more in-depth but probably more than you actually should hear in reality. However, the bulk of the dramatic license meant creating textures to wipe out the extra detail needed for the planet.

Although it is the most high-resolution movie we have yet received from Mars, Chan notes that it still only corresponds to one pixel per half meter. This means that charged areas with full faithfulness appear horribly immediately close to each other.

To counteract this, he replaced them with new texture information about sand, dirt and stone to make it better. ("You can actually disable it on the" Options "menu to see data actually taken," he noted. If you are more scientifically oriented you may want to do that. ")

In the future, Chan wants to extend the project to other planets when the data is available. "I would like to visualize flying through the big red spot on Jupiter but I do not have enough data to do it yet," he said.

Mars is, however, the main focus. With that in mind, the title will continue to evolve, as more and more HiRISE data is beamed back to earth.

  Alan Chan
Alan Chan, Red Rover Developer [19659024] In his Steam notes for the "game" Chan – which is in the late fifties – states he grew up believing we would have colonized Mars at this point. So far we do not have why Red Rover could be your best chance to explore the planet.

At $ 4.99 on Steam, compared to the billions spent by space agencies, it is almost certainly the cheapest.

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