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In The Martian Driver's Seat
03.15.04
 
Think you need a Ph.D. in engineering to drive the Mars Exploration Rovers? Think again.

NASA's M2K4 Web site has just launched an interactive program that gives any citizen of cyberspace the chance to navigate Spirit and Opportunity across the surface of the red planet.

"This experience will allow visitors to NASA's Web site the chance to explore Gusev Crater and Meridiani Planum, without having to make the 300-million-mile trek," joked KSC's Public Web Information Manager Dennis Armstrong.
Screen capture of the M2K4 Drive The Mars Rover! program.
Image above: NASA's M2K4 Drive The Mars Rovers! program allows users to investigate points of interest, such as "Adirondack," "El Capitan," and "Last Chance." Credit: NASA.

The interactive experience is frequently updated with the latest pictures and findings from the Mars Rover missions. Drivers of the digital martian duo can examine the same points of interest investigated by the real rovers, such as "Adirondack" and "El Capitan."

Screen capture of the M2K4 Drive the Mars Rovers! program. "We're hoping that users will count on this feature as a great source to find out about Mars Exploration Rover discoveries as they're announced," added Armstrong.

Image at right: Spirit rolls across Gusev Crater, searching for signs that water once flowed in the area. Drive the Mars Rovers! presents the latest scientific finds and photographs from the martian surface. Credit: NASA.

M2K4 is a multimedia experience that gives Web users the chance to explore the Mars Exploration Rover missions up close. Interactive features include animations of the mission, martian trivia, and now, the chance to virtually drive across the surface of Mars.

To experience the M2K4 Drive the Mars Rovers! interactive feature, visit NASA's M2K4 Web site.

 
 
Matthew Cavagnaro
NASA's John F. Kennedy Space Center