Introduction

The Virtual Astronaut (VA) is an immersive 3D environment that allows users to observe the Martian landscape and interact with a rover. The VA was developed at the Geosciences Node of NASA’s Planetary Data System (PDS). VA modules have been developed using the Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity's science campaigns at Santa Maria Crater and near Odyssey Crater on the southern edge of Cape York.

Santa Maria is an impact crater in Meridiani Planum that is ~90m in diameter and is located at 2.172°S, 5.445°W.  Before resuming its long-term trek toward Endeavour, Opportunity investigated Santa Maria from Martian sols 2451 to 2545 (Earth dates: December 16, 2010 to March 22, 2011).

Cape York is an isolated rim segment of the ~22km wide, largely buried Endeavour Crater. Opportunity first explored the southern side of Cape York, focusing on ejecta from the ~20m wide Odyssey Crater and also in-place bedrock. Opportunity's science campaigns at this region of Cape York lasted from sols 2682 to 2737 (August 10, 2011 to October 7, 2011).

Other VA modules are under development and will be released when validated.

VA for Santa Maria Crater

VA for South end of Cape York

 

Help documentation

 

Comments or suggestions to va@wunder.wustl.edu