WASHINGTON: Nasa and Microsoft launched an interactive website that allows web surfers to become Mars explorers.
The “Be a Martian” website invites members of the public to help scientists perform such research tasks as improving maps of the red planet, the US space agency and US software giant said.
“We’re at a point in history where everyone can be an explorer,” Doug McCuistion, director of Nasa’s Mars Exploration Program, said. “With so much data coming back from Mars missions that are accessible by all, exploring Mars has become a shared human endeavor,” he said.
Users can, for example, count craters on Mars, a task Nasa said had posed a challenge in the past because of the vast numbers involved.
It site features a “virtual town hall” where users can have questions answered by Mars experts and offers prizes to software developers who create tools that provide access to Mars images for online, classroom and Mars mission team use.