The picture that makes you feel as if you're on Mars: FOUR BILLION pixel interactive panorama gives you a 360-degree view as if you're standing next to the Curiosity rover
Photographer Andrew Bodrov used 407 pictures from two Curiosity cameras to make the interactive image

Helen Lawson


20:32 GMT, 30 March 2013



08:10 GMT, 31 March 2013

Ever wondered what it would be like to gaze across the surface of Mars Thanks to one photographer, you can – with only a click of the mouse.

Andrew Bodrov spent two weeks creating the interactive image using 407 pictures from the narrow angle and medium angle cameras on the head of Nasa's Curiosity rover and a bit of digital retouching.

'[The camera] is only two megapixels, which by today's standards is not huge,' he told Popular Science.

'Of course, flying these electronic components from Earth to Mars, and having them survive the radiation and other hazards, means that they were not able to just use off-the-shelf cameras.'

Explore this zoomable panorama image to see what it would be like to stand next to Curiosity on Mars

Mars Gigapixel Panorama – Curiosity rover: Martian solar days 136-149 in The World

Bodrov added the sky and a previous picture of Curiosity to the 90,000 x 45,000 pixel panorama with Photoshop.

Earlier this week, Nasa chiefs were relieved when a computer glitch that had stopped operations for a week was solved, meaning they could get back to examining rock powder found on the planet.

From April 4, radio communications between Earth and Mars will be blocked by the sun, meaning work will be halted again until May 1.

For now, the 2billion six-wheel rover, which landed on the planet in August to begin its two-year mission, will continue to analyse the rock sample, which contains all the chemical ingredients necessary for life.

Andrew Bodrov's panorama uses 407 pictures from the Mars Curiosity rover's cameras

Andrew Bodrov's panorama uses 407 pictures from the Mars Curiosity rover's cameras

Scientists identified sulphur, nitrogen,
hydrogen, oxygen, phosphorus and carbon in the powder Curiosity drilled out of a
sedimentary rock near an ancient stream bed in an area known as Yellowknife Bay within Gale Crater.

They believe that billions of
years ago water poured down the rim of the crater and formed streams
that might have been up to three feet deep.

At the time of the discovery project scientist John Grotzinger said: 'We have found a habitable environment that is so benign and supportive of life, that probably if this water was around and you had been there, you would have been able to drink it.

A sample of powdered rock extracted by Curiosity

Nasa's Mars rover Curiosity, pictured in a self-portrait sent back from the planet

The 2billion six-wheel rover, right, is analysing rock powder found on Mars which has been shown to contain all the necessary elements for life

Michael Meyer, lead scientist for NASA's Mars Exploration Program at the agency's headquarters in Washington, added: 'A fundamental question for this mission is whether Mars could have supported a habitable environment.

'From what we know now, the answer is yes.'

Scientists eventually plan to drive the rover to a three-mile-high mound of what appears to be layered sediment rising from the floor of Gale Crater.