Mars 3D Landscape Project

by Michelle Mock
and the students of Montessori School of Corona

Mars has been a beacon for the human imagination since the earliest times.  With each new discovery on Mars, scientists and the public alike are surprised and amazed.  This is NOT the Mars we thought we knew.  Over the last eight years, modern spacecraft have been unraveling the surprising story of the Red Planet.

The Mars Global Surveyor spacecraft has mapped almost the entire surface of the planet and measured surface heights from orbiting instruments. The orbiter Odyssey has provided infrared images in such breathtaking detail that scientists have learned more about Mars than ever before.  The rover twins, Spirit and Opportunity, have exceeded their 90-day mission goals, lasting four times as long and are still going strong.  They have confirmed many of the hypotheses formulated based on MGS and Odyssey data by "ground truthing" on the surface.  Mars is full of surprises and one of the most interesting is what Mars really looks like…

Students from the Montessori School of Corona in California, created a three dimensional global landscape of Mars using information from the Mars Orbiting Laser Altimeter (MOLA).  Here, in the pages of Imagiverse, join these students to discover what Mars is really like.

The science and historical content contained in this article is only a microscopic scratch on the surface of the facts and current theories about the mysterious Red Planet and the spacecraft exploring it.  The more we learn, the more we find to learn.  As quickly as books and articles are published, new discoveries from Mars change what we thought to be truths.  For the latest information about Mars, see:

The History of Mars

Highlands and Lowlands - Understanding MOLA Data

Creating a MOLA Globe

Sculpting an Imaginary Planet

Painting and Resurfacing

Bringing to Life

Imagiverse Reconnaissance Orbiter (IRO)

Through the Eyes of the Camera

JPL Open House 2005




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