You can use your mobile phone to participate in the latest NASA mission through an immersive Mars rover AR experience.
The Perseverance Mars rover is now active on the surface of the Red Planet, and you can follow its mission in a brand new way. USA TODAY recently added a Mars rover AR experience to its mobile app, allowing users to be a part of the most exciting NASA mission to date.
The augmented reality project is named “Perseverance: Explore as one” and is available in USA TODAY and additional 13 USA TODAY NETWORK’s local news apps.
“Seven Minutes of Terror” You Can Safely Watch in the Mars Rover AR Experience
The most critical part of landing the Perseverance Mars rover was in the last part – the last seven minutes of descent into the merciless atmosphere of the Red Planet. These excruciating minutes put to the test the ingenuity, talent and experience of everyone who worked to build, program and launch Perseverance.
Narrated by space reporter Emre Kelly from Florida Today, the Mars rover AR experience will take viewers down the descent and landing, making them feel as if they accompany Perseverance in its journey.
A Partnership for Excellence: USA TODAY and Smithsonian Channel
Speaking of their latest addition to the mobile app, the Director of Emerging Technology at USA TODAY, Ray Soto, said in a press release:
“We’re excited to leverage the reach of our NETWORK to deliver premium augmented reality content to more people like never before. Our latest interactive story is the perfect mix of technology and storytelling that has the potential to fascinate and inspire.”
The realistic and immersive Mars rover AR experience also benefited from top expertise from the Smithsonian Channel. Dedicated to bringing science and nature closer to everyone, the TV channel relies on top experts to create useful, entertaining and engaging content.
Following Perseverance on Its Track
The latest NASA mission started on July 30, 2020. Mounted on an Atlas V-541 rocket, Mars 2020 Perseverance rover left Earth at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. The rover will be its forever home and during its operational life, it will perform groundbreaking research and data collection.
The main goals of this mission are:
- To transmit images and signals from the surface of Mars;
- To explore the surface (at a slow pace of 0.1 miles per hour);
- To gather and cache soil samples and rocks (to be retrieved by a future mission).
Since its safe landing on Thursday, February 18, 2021, the 10-foot Mars rover has already started sending signals. Now USA TODAY offers its readers and followers the chance to understand how this historical landing was possible through its Mars rover AR experience.
How to Access the USA TODAY AR Experience
You should download or update the USA TODAY mobile app for Android or iOS. Look at the bottom of the screen, tap on Sections and select Augmented Reality. You will find the “Perseverance: Explore as one” title in this menu.
The Mars rover AR experience is also available in these USA TODAY NETWORK local apps: Florida Today, Treasure Coast News, Naples Daily News, The News-Press (Fort Meyers), Pensacola News Journal, Tallahassee Democrat, Montgomery Advertiser, The Tuscaloosa News, Gadsden Times, Corpus Christi Caller-Times, The Desert Sun (Palm Springs), Austin American-Statesman, and Delmarva Now.