Explore the Mars Rover in Detail with NASA’s Curiosity App
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It's been just over a year since NASA's Curiosity rover began its 350-million-mile journey to the Red Planet, making it one of the space agency's most important and exciting scientific missions to date. Since then the 1,980-pound robot has been firing laser beams, drilling into Martian rocks, and taking incredible photos to give us an up-close look at our neighboring planet. But with all of that action happening millions of miles away, it's hard to really understand the rover's powerful instruments and astonishing mission, so NASA came up with an app for Windows 8 to let you explore the rover in detail.
The app, called Mars Rover: Curiosity, launches with a realistic animation of the rover's descent to the surface of Mars. After the animation plays out, you're left with a 3D model of Curiosity parked on the rocky surface of Mars. By touching your screen or using your mouse you can shift the viewpoint around the model and zoom in or out. While rotating around the rover, icons pop up over its various parts. When you click on an icon, a sidebar opens up on the left side of the screen to display a detailed explanation of the part you're curious about, and some even show an additional up-close image or two. By exploring the rover you can access information about Curiosity's power plant, the Mars Descent Imager, the arm and hand, and any other major system that's a part of this incredible car-sized robot. Mars Rover: Curiosity is definitely worth a go. It's a simple, educational app that offers an entertaining way to learn about one of NASA's most advanced technologies as it explores our mysterious neighboring planet.
Mars Rover: Curiosity is available for Windows 8 or Windows RT.
Download link: http://apps.microsoft.com/windows/en-us/app/mars-rover-curiosity/5eb371a0-359d-4f15-80e8-bb378af7bb16