SOURCE: Unity Technologies

Unity Technologies

July 16, 2012 13:00 ET

Unity Powers NASA Virtual Mars Rover Experience

SAN FRANCISCO, CA--(Marketwire - Jul 16, 2012) - Unity Technologies, provider of the Unity multi-platform engine and development tools, today announced that NASA's virtual Mars rover experience was developed with Unity. It will debut online via the Unity Web Player in conjunction with the landing of the most advanced rover ever sent to Mars. 

NASA's Curiosity rover, a mobile laboratory carried by the Mars Science Laboratory spacecraft, will land near the Martian equator about 10:31 p.m. PDT Aug. 5 (1:31 a.m. Aug. 6 EDT). The Curiosity rover will assess whether Mars was or is today an environment favorable for microbial life. 

Martian fans can help NASA test drive a new 3D interactive experience that will allow the public to follow along with Curiosity's discoveries on Mars. Using Unity, NASA is pushing new limits by rendering high-resolution terrain maps of Gale Crater, Curiosity's landing site, collected from Mars orbiters. A 3D "virtual rover" version of Curiosity will follow the path of the real rover as it makes discoveries.

By downloading Unity and trying out the experience early, the public can reduce potential download delays during landing and offer feedback on the pre-landing beta version of the experience. By crowd sourcing -- leveraging the wisdom and experience of citizens everywhere -- NASA can help ensure the best experience across individual users' varying computer systems.

NASA's Mars Science Laboratory mission will place the Curiosity Rover onto the surface inside Gale Crater on Mars and use it to investigate the area's past and present environments. The landing will use active guidance for improved landing accuracy and a skycrane for touchdown. The rover is equipped with 10 science investigations and a robotic arm that can drill into rocks, scoop up soil and deliver samples to internal analytical instruments. The mission will assess whether the area has offered conditions favorable for life and favorable for preserving a rock record of evidence about whether life has existed there. Curiosity has the capability to drive for 12.4 miles (20 kilometers) or more during a mission lasting one Martian year (98 weeks). 

"From amazing games to Mars rover mission simulation! We're so honored that Unity is being used to power a simulated experience for this historic scientific mission," said David Helgason, CEO, Unity Technologies.

To view this experience, please visit:

About Unity Technologies
Unity Technologies is the creator of Unity, an intuitive and flexible development platform used to make wildly creative and intelligently interactive 3D and 2D content. The "author once, deploy everywhere" capability ensures developers can publish to all of the most popular platforms. Unity Technologies boasts a thriving community of 1,000,000 registered developers including large publishers, indie studios, students and hobbyists. Unity Technologies aggressively re-invests in its award-winning 3D development tools and democratization initiatives, such as the Asset Store digital content marketplace and Union game distribution service, in order to remain at the forefront of innovation. Unity Technologies is headquartered in San Francisco and has offices in Canada, China, Denmark, Lithuania, Sweden, the United Kingdom, Japan and Korea. For more information, visit:

Unity and all other product names are trademarks of Unity Technologies or its subsidiaries or affiliates. All other product names and trademarks belong to their respective holders. The Mars Science Laboratory is a project of NASA's Science Mission Directorate. The mission is managed by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, California. The mission's rover, Curiosity, was designed, developed and assembled at JPL.

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