The next couple decades could see people traveling to Mars en masse, especially if SpaceX can get its interplanetary railroad up and running. But if you’re not sure you will be one of those intrepid pioneers, or if you simply can’t wait to travel around the red planet, NASA is offering a virtual reality experience that could be the closest thing we have so far to seeing what Mars looks like up close and personal.
Called Mars 2030, the new VR experience allows a user to explore 15 miles of the Martian surface. The game was rendered and designed using images captured by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. Fusion Media Group released it Tuesday on HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, and on PC through Steam.
In 8K resolution, Mars 2030 tasks you with roaming around the surface in a Mars rover, collecting planetary samples and analyzing them with various instruments located on a surface habitat, which is actually modeled after a real NASA design being pitched for a future Mars habitat. You then need to send the data back to mission control on Earth. You’re fitted with a suit complete with life support systems and biometric displays.
Mars 2030 costs $15 to purchase, and it will soon be available for Sony’s PS4 console. If you’re not that gung-ho about selling your house and buying a one-way ticket to Mars, that’s probably a good bargain.