recommended reading

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.

Threatwatch Alert

Thousands of cyber attacks occur each day

See the latest threats


Close [ x ] More from Nextgov

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Modernizing IT for Mission Success

    Surveying Federal and Defense Leaders on Priorities and Challenges at the Tactical Edge

  • Communicating Innovation in Federal Government

    Federal Government spending on ‘obsolete technology’ continues to increase. Supporting the twin pillars of improved digital service delivery for citizens on the one hand, and the increasingly optimized and flexible working practices for federal employees on the other, are neither easy nor inexpensive tasks. This whitepaper explores how federal agencies can leverage the value of existing agency technology assets while offering IT leaders the ability to implement the kind of employee productivity, citizen service improvements and security demanded by federal oversight.

  • Effective Ransomware Response

    This whitepaper provides an overview and understanding of ransomware and how to successfully combat it.

  • Forecasting Cloud's Future

    Conversations with Federal, State, and Local Technology Leaders on Cloud-Driven Digital Transformation

  • IT Transformation Trends: Flash Storage as a Strategic IT Asset

    MIT Technology Review: Flash Storage As a Strategic IT Asset For the first time in decades, IT leaders now consider all-flash storage as a strategic IT asset. IT has become a new operating model that enables self-service with high performance, density and resiliency. It also offers the self-service agility of the public cloud combined with the security, performance, and cost-effectiveness of a private cloud. Download this MIT Technology Review paper to learn more about how all-flash storage is transforming the data center.


When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.