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Googling Mars

Real Mars exploration has been at an impasse lately, what with the Spirit rover stuck in the sand, and the Mars Odyssey and Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter spacecraft both experiencing  service interruptions.But virtual Mars exploration is going gangbusters. Google Mars, if you haven't tried it yet, is...

Victoria Crater in Google Mars.


Real Mars exploration has been at an impasse lately, what with the Spirit rover stuck in the sand, and the Mars Odyssey and Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter spacecraft both experiencing  service interruptions.

But virtual Mars exploration is going gangbusters. Google Mars, if you haven't tried it yet, is a feature in recent versions of Google Earth that makes Martian tourism easy from your home computer. Google recently added more archived images from the European Mars Express orbiter, so that now nearly half the planet's surface is covered by imagery having a nominal resolution of 25 meters per pixel. It's well worth checking out. The long-awaited day where you can explore a convincing representation of Mars based on actual high-resolution data is rapidly approaching.

Here's a quick overview:

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