Mars OnLine using CRG VXInteractive™
One of the missions of CRG is to use 3D online learning environments to support next generation educational systems/tools. The CRG MARS on-line project allowed student/teachers/researchers to access information that represents real data collected about the planet Mars. Using the CRG VXInteractive™ client, users can tour the face of Mars on-line.
The project takes data made available from NASA generated by the Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter (MOLA), an instrument aboard NASA's Mars Global Surveyor (MGS). Mars Global Surveyor began orbiting the red planet on September 12, 1997. The MOLA data being used by the CRG Mars On-line project provides some 1 billion elevation measurements gathered between 1998 and 2001 by NASA. The MOLA instrument was designed and built by the Laser Remote Sensing Branch of the Laboratory for Terrestrial Physics at Goddard. MOLA has not collected altimeter data since June 30, 2001, when the instrument's oscillator stopped. An article entitled "Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter: Experiment summary after the first year of global mapping of Mars" can be found here.
The Mars on-line project operated between January 2003 and July 2008. It was taken off line when the CRG V3 client was removed from support. If there is interest in the project in the future, the system could be brought back up and made available in the current CRG client.
CRG Mars On-Line Project Details
NASA, Mars Global Surveyor, Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter Data