Using Microsoft’s Kinect, you can now get a chance to land a virtual Mars rover.
With the underfunded state of our nation’s space program – they say if you listen closely at night you might hear the sorrowed tears of Neil Degrasse Tyson – the goal of one day reaching our planetary brother of Mars seems like a far-off reality. Or so would say a cynic. Personally, while NASA might not be leading the cause, the dream of one day standing proud on Mars is still well and alive.
The “who’s”, “what’s”, and “how’s” might be an relative unknown for now, sure, but we’ll get there someday. And right now, thanks in part to a pretty neat Kinect Fun Labs app, you can get some virtual hands-on training with NASA’s exploratory vehicle, Curiosity, and get a feel for the challenges of Mars exploration with the aptly titled, Mars Roving Lander.
Using Microsoft’s motion-sensing accessory, users can try to guide the Curiosity rover to a safe landing on Mars by using their bodies. Sounds like a fun and quick little diversion enough, but what about actually getting to perform a Mars mission once you touchdown on the planet?
For now, sadly, that’s all there is to Mars Roving Lander on the Xbox 360, but if you happen to own a PC and download the education app, Kodu, it features a Mars-surface experience that lets players command the Curiosity rover and perform three objective-based levels. There’s also a new Unity web app, Curiosity’s Journey, which will let you explore a 3D map of Mars’ Gale Crater and track Curiosity’s mission path. Pretty, pretty, cool.
The Mars Roving Lander app is totally free by the way, but you will need a Kinect to play it; so keep that it mind, space explorer, boldly going where no human has gone before and what not. Speaking of “going,” why don’t you also go visit some of our geeky posts on Walyou. Today I’m recommending these comfy-looking hoodie pillows and The Last of Us panel from this year’s Comic-Con as my picks. Have at, friends.