Flying Tonight - Mars Style

Now that we have a wealth of data from our small army of orbiting satellites and ground probes on the planet Mars, we can run so many simulations that are incredibly realistic and accurate that it almost feels like we have actually been there ourselves, in person. This isn't the case of course as going to the red planet isn't an easy task at all, and simulations are all we have - for now. The latest batch of simulations come from a combination of orbital imagery and high resolution radar elevation data from the HiRISE satellite. The result, is this cool video.

Someday we will go to Mars and although videos like this are excellent eye candy, they also provide a heads up for planning where to actually land. We don't want to just plonk ourselves down in just any old crater, we want to have plenty of things to look at and study. Geologists in particular can glean an insight into the origin of the features we see here - vast gullys that look as if they have been carved by water, ridges of mountains that look volcanic, huge sand dunes that look like they took millennia to form. Looking at the planet using this kind of technology will eventually lead to the all important location of that first human step.

Happy Flying, Spacers!

Digg this