While the pandemic reduced holidays on Earth to a mere fantasy, our solar system has never been more accessible. So plan a trip to the stars – NASA’s got you covered.
It only becomes natural to try to find an escape in these trying times. Whether you’re dreaming of a less chaotic planet to live on or just looking for a fantasy world to take refuge in, then let NASA help you out and take you on an interstellar quest.
The Solar System Treks program developed by the American space agency allows you to travel the solar system and explore the asteroids Ceres and Vesta, visit Saturn’s icy moons and the Titan, or scout around Mercury and Mars. By recreating surfaces using real data collected during expeditions, NASA lets you virtually set foot on the surface of other worlds.
For example, by using the images gathered through the Curiosity Rover that landed on Mars on August 6, 2012, the government agency created an immersive, 360° tour of the Red Planet. The virtual trek is guided by audio gathered from the highlights of the explorations that took place during the past eight years.
All journeys take place within a very intuitive interface, similar to that of Google Earth. “Users can interactively fly over peaks and down into valleys in 3D mode, measure distances, heights, and depths of landforms, and mark areas for output to 3D printers,” says NASA Science.
For those who prefer to travel light-years away instead, NASA has created the virtual Exoplanet Travel Bureau. This database of simulations based on what the recently discovered exoplanets might look like has been created with the help of several 3D artists. Options include Kepler-186f and its red grass, Kepler 16b and its two suns, and 55-Cancri-e, with its sparkly silicate clouds and an endless sea of lava.