NASA has just published a few stereoscopic 3D photos from Mars taken by the Curiosity rover thаt has recently landed successfully on the surface of the “red planet”. No green aliens or something very interesting is on these three stereo 3D photos made available by NASA for now, but still it is nice to see how the planet’s surface looks in 3D…
The photos are black and white, available in anaglyph 3D format and not of very high resolution, showing a front (top photo) and back (bottom one) views from the Curiosity rover. You’ll need a pair of red-cyan anaglyph 3D glasses to view the photos in 3D. Hopefully we’ll be seeing more 3D photos from the Mars rover from now on and there will be more interesting things to see in 3D coming from Mars. Meanwhile you can also check some more photos, not only in 3D from the Curiosity rover and its landing on the planet at the official NASA photo gallery.
If you’ve missed the new free game from NASA (yes, a free game developed by/for the American government), then you might want to check out Moonbase Alpha now available on Steam. It seems that now NASA is looking to educate and train future astronauts through a free game, much like it was with the American Army getting new recruits through the previous free game called America’s Army… ;)
In Moonbase Alpha, you assume the role of an astronaut working to further human expansion and research on the Moon. Returning from a research expedition on the lunar surface, you witness a meteorite impact that cripples the life support capability of the recently established Moon base. With precious minutes ticking away, you and your team must repair and replace equipment in order to restore the oxygen production to the Moon settlement. There are several ways in which you can successfully restore the life support system of the lunar base, but since you are scored on the time spent to complete the task, you have to work effectively as a team, learn from decisions made in previous gaming sessions, and make intelligence decisions in order to top the leaderboards. And yes it is a multiplayer only online game where everyone is a real person that is quite interesting and might be fun to play for a while, but without a lot of excitement and action, so don’t get your hopes too high.
The game is based on Unreal engine, so playing it in stereoscopic 3D mode with 3D Vision as expected can bring out the typical issues, such as a problem with rendering the dynamic shadows and disabling these can help. Also since there is a lot of white, black and gray colors the game is prone to have some ghosting, but it still has a lot of potential to provide a quite realistic simulation with stereo 3D. The in-game HUD is rendered mostly in 2D, but that is not such a big issue and you might want to play a bit with the convergence settings to achieve best possible results. And you would probably want to lower the default brightness level a bit… And since the game is free all you need to have is a Steam account to download and play it, so it will be a shame not to try it, after all you might like it and who knows, you might be a future astronaut yourself… :P