Amazing Close-Up Images of the Real-Life Ares 3 Landing Site from The Martian

Monday, 05 October 2015 - 2:25PM
Space
Science of Sci-Fi
Mars
Monday, 05 October 2015 - 2:25PM
Amazing Close-Up Images of the Real-Life Ares 3 Landing Site from The Martian
NASA is really putting all of their eggs in the Martian basket. Earlier today, they released a side-by-side comparison of The Martian and the real-life Mission to Mars, and now they've released photos of the real-life location of the Ares 3 Mars landing site:

NASA Images of the Ares 3 Landing Site

NASA Images of the Ares 3 Landing Site

Andy Weir reportedly gave NASA the exact coordinates of the Ares 3 landing site, where Mark Watney spends most of his Martian adventure, and requested that they take these pictures with the HiRISE camera on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. The Martian is fairly scientifically accurate, especially since NASA had a hand in fact-checking. But in this case, the images show that the real-life area is much rougher terrain than depicted in the book and movie, covered with defunct volcanoes, dense fields of boulders, and huge impassable fissures. 

NASA said in a statement from the University of Arizona, which operates the HiRISE camera:

Opening quote
"This region of Mars is actually far more diverse, interesting, and hazardous to drive over than depicted in the novel. These two images are close to the Ares 3 landing site as shown in a map at the front of the novel, and shows many mounds, perhaps ancient volcanoes resulting from lava-water interaction or eruption of muddy sediments... When our hero travels into Arabia Terra it is described as much rockier than Acidalia, but the opposite is generally true: much of Arabia is dust mantled and smooth at the scale of a rover."
Closing quote


Science
NASA
Space
Science of Sci-Fi
Mars

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