Mars Rover Video: Images From Three-Year Trek Compiled Show Vehicle's Journey (VIDEO)
A new video from NASA gives a bit of an idea what it's like to drive on Mars -- albeit very slowly.
Opportunity, one of the Mars rovers, recently completed a 13-mile trek from Victoria crater to Endeavour crater. The journey took a total of nearly three years, and at the end of each day that Opportunity drove, the rover took a picture using its navigation camera.
The video, available above, is a compilation of the 309 images from the days that Opportunity drove. As you'll see, the rover had to take some detours to avoid what NASA calls "large expanses of treacherous terrain."
According to NASA, the sound in the video is from data from the Opportunity's accelerometers, instruments used to measure the rover's proper acceleration. NASA sped up the data 1,000 times to make it audible, and the sound corresponds to the image featured, giving us an idea of the day's terrain.
"The sound represents the vibrations of the rover while moving on the surface of Mars," Paolo Bellutta, a rover planner at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, said in a statement. "When the sound is louder, the rover was moving on bedrock. When the sound is softer, the rover was moving on sand."
The Mars rover Curiosity, which is the size of a car, will launch later this year with a planned arrival next August.
In August, NASA reported the discovery of what could be evidence of flowing water on the red planet.
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