Monday, February 12, 2007

Camping Out On The Red Planet Authentic NASA Toys and Replicas

It looks like the Mars Express has produced hiking or "camping" maps of the red planet, highlighting the various elevation paths of the Iani Chaos region.

(Red Orbit) Scientists using data from the HRSC experiment onboard ESA's Mars Express spacecraft have produced the first 'hiker's maps' of Mars. Giving detailed height contours and names of geological features in the Iani Chaos region, the maps could become a standard reference for future Martian research.

The maps are known as topographic maps because they use contour lines to show the heights of the landscape.

The contour lines are superimposed upon high-resolution images of Mars, taken by the High-Resolution Stereo Camera (HRSC) onboard Mars Express. On Earth, such maps are used by hikers and planning authorities.

Creating maps like these give Mars a more "Earthen feel" and perhaps make it more appealing as a future home rather than a distant world. (for more maps, click here)

Note: Maps like these remind me of those Crazy4Mars stories (via 4Frontiers) which center around several families living on the red planet.

Update: Added photo and link towards more maps.

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You can either visit the stars or watch them from afar.

But if you choose the former, you'll definitely get a better view.

~Darnell Clayton, 2007

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