"Destination: Mars," a mixed-reality experience designed by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California, and Microsoft HoloLens, held a kick-off event for media at the Visitor Complex on Sept. 18. The experience uses real imagery taken by NASA's Mars Curiosity rover to let users explore the Martian surface.
"Technology like HoloLens leads us once again toward exploration," Aldrin said. "It's my hope that experiences like "Destination: Mars" will continue to inspire us to explore."
Aldrin and JPL Curiosity rover driver Erisa Hines both appear in "Destination: Mars," where they guide users across the landscape and offer a tantalizing glimpse of a future Martian colony. The technology that accomplishes this is called "mixed reality," where virtual elements are merged with the user's actual environment, creating a world in which real and virtual objects can interact.
The public experience developed out of a JPL-designed tool called OnSight. Using the HoloLens headset, scientists across the world can explore geographic features on Mars and even plan future routes for the Curiosity rover.
"The origin of "Destination: Mars" is part of what makes it so authentic and unique," said Jeff Norris, who directs the JPL Ops Lab, which designed OnSight. "Everything you see in the experience came directly from our spacecraft."
"We're thrilled to partner with NASA JPL in enabling a whole new way for its scientists to study Mars via Microsoft HoloLens, and now we're excited to finally offer the public a glimpse into NASA's use of this transformative technology," said Scott Erickson, general manager, Microsoft HoloLens.
For more information about "Destination: Mars," visit:
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.