Emerging Tech

NASA’s Augmented Reality App Just Got a Makeover

A self-portrait taken by the NASA rover Curiosity in Gale Crater on Mars.

A self-portrait taken by the NASA rover Curiosity in Gale Crater on Mars. // NASA/AP

With the second anniversary of Curiosity’s landing on the Red Planet, the space agency has revamped its app that highlights spacecraft that study the Earth and beyond. 

Launched in 2012, the augmented reality Spacecraft 3D app enables users to learn about and interact with various NASA spacecraft. The newly released version 3.0 adds new features such as the Maven spacecraft and Curiosity's Descent Stage
. A new “Manual mode” also allows users to view and interact with the 3-D models without the AR target. 

The updated app will also have images from the book, "Mars Up Close: Inside the Curiosity Mission," woven in with the content.

"Spacecraft 3D makes it so easy for anyone to experience the magic of these spacecraft and the excitement of space exploration," Tom Soderstrom, chief technology officer at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, said in an Aug. 5 statement. "We think the app will enhance the experience of learning about these missions, for all ages, for years to come."

The Spacecraft 3D app isn’t the only app from the space agency. NASA currently has more than 40 apps, ranging in topics from solar systems and technology to Earth and the universe.

Available for both iOS and Android mobile devices, the spruced-up Spacecraft 3D app can be downloaded here.

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// October 17
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