ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Play With the Mars Curiosity Rover on Your iPad/iPhone

Updated on December 23, 2014

It's a virtual reality 3d MAGIC TRICK!

Last night, while liveblogging the ENTIRE Mars Curiosity Rover Landing, I bookmarked NASA's free Spacecraft 3D app mentioned during the JPL broadcast.

I've now tested the app out, and it's a magic trick that every teacher and student in the country with access to an iPad/iPhone should try!

It puts the rover right in your hands. Look.

I just asked a neighbor to "hold" it so I could photograph it. But it's not really there!

Video Demo of Spacecraft 3D App in action - With my cat for scale

Sorry for video quality; I was holding a digital camera in one hand and the iPad in the other.

Above: photographing the virtual Curiosity Rover in front of my bathroom mirror, so you can see what's really there: my hand holding a piece of paper.

Here's how to get the virtual 3D rover for yourself... it's free!

  1. An iPhone or iPad. (In the broadcast, the JPL engineer said they're working on an Android version.)
  2. Download the Spacecraft 3D App.
  3. Open this Spacecraft 3D "MARKER" image in a spare window on your computer. (I downloaded the image from the app to my own website to save you a step).
  4. PRINT THE "MARKER" test PATTERN (I suggest using "Landscape Mode" on your printer.)
  5. In the Spacecraft 3D app, click "Select spacecraft" and choose the model you'd like to view.
  6. Hold your iPad/iPhone over the sheet of paper, wait a second or two, and...ta-da!
  7. Click the bottom of the screen and try out the buttons to play with the 3D model.
  8. Turn the paper, and the spacecraft will turn with it!
  9. Click the gear to pull up a zoom control and a "take photo" button.
  10. (Tip: You might want to print out on stiff paper or tape the printout to cardboard for classroom use. It would be REALLY fun to pass out multiple copies of the marker pattern so that everyone in a class could put the Mars Rover on their desk.)

That was just one of the many amazing things I learned during NASA's live broadcast of the Mars Curiosity Rover landing. There was also a free, 3D virtual reality explorer of the whole solar system right on JPL's website that let me "ride" the Curiosity spacecraft all the way in, watching it reach incredible speeds as it hurtled towards Mars!

Of course, there's more to the Curiosity Rover mission than fun virtual reality toys and simulations. I liveblogged the entire landing with LOTS of photos and as-it-happened screencaps of NASA's live broadcast. What actually happened during the "Seven Minutes of Terror"? Why is Curiosity on Mars, anyway? What were its first photos? When will it start taking color photos and driving around? And where can we find that free virtual reality explorer of the solar system on the web?

All this and more at...

Hot Wheels Mars Curiosity Rover CollectibleBUY NOW

Or buy it on eBay:

Here's my challenge to you: download the Spacecraft 3D app and try making the Mars Rover "land" somewhere interesting. Upload the photo to a host like Flickr or Picasa, then share the link to your "where no Mars rover has gone before" photo here!

How about a birthday cake topper? A hat?

Or, if you don't have an iPad/iPhone, share this page with friends and see where they can put Mars Curiosity Rover!

P.S. Feel free to "Pin" the above images on Pinterest!

Where can YOU Land the Mars Curiosity Rover? - Share this page with friends!

Submit a Comment

  • DrBillSmithWriter profile image

    William Leverne Smith 

    4 years ago from Hollister, MO

    Oh, my! Thanks for sharing! ;-)

  • AishwaryaTiwari1 profile image

    AishwaryaTiwari1 

    6 years ago

    I too love this app!

  • mythphile profile imageAUTHOR

    Ellen Brundige 

    6 years ago from California

    @LisaDH: Snerk. Yes, I think she was jealous even though it wasn't actually there.

  • LisaDH profile image

    LisaDH 

    6 years ago

    I don't think your cat enjoyed sharing his bed with the Curiosity Rover. :-)

  • mythphile profile imageAUTHOR

    Ellen Brundige 

    6 years ago from California

    @Virginia Allain: Yes, quite literally! I found myself lifting the paper up to the ipad to study all the little details, like a tiny American flag on one leg and the mission badge on the other. They need to make a setting that pops up labels of all the body parts, but I guess they'd rather you get intrigued and go to the rover's website to learn more about what all the instruments are.

    It's a very odd feeling. I've seen plenty of holograms, but for some reason the brain interprets this one as a real, solid object, even though it looks like a very detailed computer graphics model rather than a photo.

  • Virginia Allain profile image

    Virginia Allain 

    6 years ago from Central Florida

    I can see people having a lot of fun with this. Makes science approachable in an offbeat way.

working

This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

Show Details
Necessary
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Features
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Marketing
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Statistics
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)