Microsoft and NASA digitise Mars

Users can now view Mars in 3D, it has been announced.On Tuesday Microsoft said that the general public can now view 3D renderings of the surface of Mars via its WorldWide Telescope.

Users can now view Mars in 3D, it has been announced.

On Tuesday Microsoft said that the general public can now view 3D renderings of the surface of Mars via its WorldWide Telescope. Members of the public can view the dataset through the WorldWide Telescope web client.

The images are made possible by NASA and Microsoft's Space Act Agreement (2009), which saw the two technical giants announce plans to jointly work on technology and infrastructure to make it easy for users to access NASA's content.

NASA's chief technology officer, Chris C. Kemp, said in a release that "by providing the Mars dataset to the public in Microsoft's WorldWide Telescope platform, we are lowering the barrier of access to this information and enabling a whole new audience to experience the thrill of space."

To make initial WorldWide Telescope content available NASA's Ames Research Centre processed and hosted over 100 terabytes of data, using its NEBULA cloud computing platform. ZDNet UK is waiting on updated statistics that incorporate the 3D Mars images.

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