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Explore NASA’s Curiosity Rover in New Google AR App

On Tuesday, Porsche announced the launch of the Mission E augmented reality app, one which lets users of both Android and iPhone smartphones experience nearly first hand the soon to be electric supercar.
NASA AR app allows users to bring Curiosity rover to life 1 photo
Today, NASA announced a similar app, also developed with Google, which would put several of the agency’s high-profile machines right in the users’ living rooms. Called Spacecraft AR, the app is for now only available on Google Play.

The app lets users put virtual 3-D models of NASA's robotic space explorers into any environment with a flat surface. The machines in question are the Curiosity rover, SMAP, Voyager, Juno, and Cassini, and the 70-Meter Deep Space Network Antenna.

Details about NASA missions that explore Earth, Mars, and space are also included in the app, with each space mission featured being provided with in-depth information.

The new app is the successor of the Spacecraft 3D and uses Google's ARCore technology to bring 3-D spacecraft to life. Soon, NASA plans to provide the app for IOS devices as well. Also, more spacecraft are to be added in future updates as well.

"The Spacecraft AR app is an exciting new way to get up close and personal with NASA's robotic missions," said Kevin Hussey, manager of JPL's visualization team.

"We can't wait for people to try it, and we're looking forward to adding many more spacecraft to the app in the future."

The Curiosity rover is the only Martian-based machine currently available for close inspection by Android users. The real rover underwent remote surgery earlier this year, to have its martian soil-digging drill fixed.

In real life, Curiosity is the size of a small car, measuring 9 feet 10 inches in length and 9 feet 1 inches in width (3 m by 2.8 m). It rides on 20-inch (50.8 cm) wheels which allow it to roll over obstacles up to 25 inches (65 centimeters) high.


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