If you’ve dropped out of 3D or red / blue glasses from a movie trip, you’re in for a treat. You can now see more of NASA’s Mars helicopters, curiosity, across the landscape of the Red Planet in glorious 3D.
You can see it rise to the top and fly 50 meters (164 feet) on its third flight from Wright Brothers Airfield as if you were standing on the page of Mars yourself. The video was recorded from Perseverance’s Mastcam-Z instrument, a zoomable dual camera on top of the rover’s mast. The camera is capable of stereo-imaging, allowing scientists on Earth to transform a slightly different perspective here into an immersive scene on Mars.
Using special red and cyan glasses when images were redirected for viewing as an anaglyph or 3D view? Don’t have your own 3D glasses? Here’s an effective NASA guide to creating your own rights. Similar technology is used by NASA Curiosity, and its team works hard to turn thousands of snapshots taken by Robotic Explorer into many 3D images that you can explore here. Justin Maki, an imaging scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, said in a statement, “The Mastcam-Z video capability was inherited from the Mars Science Laboratory MARDI (Mars-derived image) camera.”
“Receiving 3D video of a helicopter over the surface of Mars and re-using this capability in this new mission is just spectacular.” NASA recommends watching with your own 3D glasses, but if 3D isn’t for you, you can also enjoy 2D video. And since the humanity of this first powered vehicle has never flown out of Earth, it has remained quite incredible in itself. The video was created by NASA imaging scientist Justin Mackey at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory who led the team integrating the images into the video. The frames were then converted to anaglyph 3D (a red / blue one) which can be seen with 3D glasses through red and blue lenses.
This is not the first time that Maki has created 3D images. In fact, the first images in 3D were processed by images captured by the first Mars rover in 1997. However, this was the first time that a video of Mars activity was switched to 3D. “The Mastcam-Z video capability was inherited from the Mars Science Laboratory MARDI (MRS descent image) camera. Receiving a 3D video of a helicopter flying over the surface of Mars and re-using this capability in this new mission is just spectacular.”