The Digital Space Commons Presents

Drive On Mars

NASA's Mars Exploration Rovers (MER) are scheduled to land at two points on the surface of Mars in the month of January 2004. In late 2002 Digital Space began to develop 3D web-based environments in Adobe Atmosphere to illustrate how online visitors could drive a virtual vehicle similar to the MER rover over a simulated Mars terrain. The Digital Space team created the DriveOnMars site to present the results of this work for education and public outreach. If you are running a Windows PC with Internet Explorer 5.0 or higher and ActiveX components enabled, you can visit several of these virtual Martian locales and drive the rover over them. Simply click on to "Drive On Mars" yourself!

View our DriveOnMars Movies
(if you don't want to enter the real-time 3D environments on the site)

Other Great Space Content on DriveOnMars

Also on the DriveOnMars site is a wonderful QuickTime movie called "Mojo Mars" produced by Ken Heidenreich and his team (working in conjunction with Digital Space) that takes you on a personal landing at the Gusev crater on Mars using real Mars terrain data collected from orbit and modeled in the MojoWorld software from Pandromeda. Other great content linked into the DriveOnMars site includes Digital Space's projects for NASA and RIACS in modeling both life aboard a Mars analog habitat (FMARS) and future robots aboard the International Space Station. You can run all these environments on your PC through the same great technology that brings you DriveOnMars: Adobe Atmosphere.

Photos taken of JPL on the big screen at the
Pasadena Convention Center

The Spirit Mars Exploration Rover has landed, some pictures taken by Digital Space Commons member Bruce Damer at the Planetary Society event in Pasadena California.
click here for the large image
click here for the large image
click here for the large image
click here for the large image

Come back to DriveOnMars

If these NASA missions are successful, Digital Space will be working with publicly released terrain data that the vehicles transmit back and hope to make available several more realistic virtual landscapes that the rovers reveal as they drive on Mars. If you return to the DriveOnMars site, you may find you are able to drive on the actual terrain captured by the rover's panoramic camera. We would be very grateful for feedback on this experiment. Feel free to share and link to the site for your purposes.
This site is not endorsed or supported by NASA. It is meant to be an experiment in creating a web learning experience about rover-based space exploration and does not represent a re-creation of the actual MER missions.

LINKS about Mars and the MER Mission:

Link to NASA's Jet Propulsion Lab MER pages:
Link to Cornell University's Athena (MER) pages:
Link to the Planetary Society's pages including the Jan 3-4 Wild About Mars event:
Link to the Mars Society's pages:

Links to the Supporting Organizations:

Link to The Digital Space Commons:
Link to Adobe's Atmosphere product:
Link to Pandromeda's MojoWorld: