Nasa orbiter captures sites shown in ‘The Martian’ movie

  • PTI, Washington
  • Updated: Oct 06, 2015 17:40 IST
An image from a region called Acidalia Planitia on Mars, at the landing site for the science-fiction tale’s Ares 3 mission. (Nasa)

Nasa’s Mars orbiter has captured stunning images of the real regions on Mars featured in the best-selling novel and Hollywood movie “The Martian”.

The novel of the same name used actual locations on Mars for the landing sites for its “Ares 3” and “Ares 4” missions, Nasa said.

The landing sites for “Ares 3” is on a Martian plain named Acidalia Planitia. The base for the “Ares 4” mission was set inside a crater named Schiaparelli, the US space agency said.

Views of these two sites, and other locations pertinent to the fictional story, are in the latest weekly release of images from the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera on Nasa’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.

This image from the HiRISE camera on Nasa’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter shows a location associated with the novel and movie, “The Martian.” It is the tale’s planned landing site for the Ares 4 mission. (Photo courtesy: Nasa)

Each observation by HiRISE covers an area of several square miles and shows small details.

More than 39,000 of them have been taken since the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter reached Mars in 2006. They are available online for anyone to explore.

The HiRISE team has an online process through which anyone can register to submit suggestions for sites to be imaged on Mars.

HiRISE has provided important information used in selection landing sites for Nasa’s Curiosity Mars rover and other robotic missions.

In the novel and movie “The Martian,” an astronaut’s adventures take him to the rim of Mawrth Crater. This image from the HiRISE camera on Nasa’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter shows the nature of this terrain. (Photo courtesy: Nasa)

Its observations will be used during a workshop this month in US for consideration of landing areas for real future human missions, Nasa said.

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