That's not a footprint. That's Rover's tracks after it knocked over a rock that had been in this spot. That's not a footprint. That's Rover's tracks after it knocked over a rock that had been in this spot. That's not a footprint. That's Rover's tracks after it knocked over a rock that had been in this spot. (Photo: NASA)

You can now take a (virtual) walk on Mars

NASA releases a 360-degree video that you can control.

In this year's Oscar-nominated survival film "The Martian," Matt Damon's astronaut character spends four years living on Mars. Now, NASA is giving the rest of us a chance to experience being stranded on the Red Planet. Using the latest in virtual reality technology, NASA has created an immersive 360-degree video with the help of its Mars rovers.

You can actually move the video around using your phone or mouse as a navigational joystick. You're able to take control of the camera. Want to try it yourself? Check out the video on YouTube. NASA says this is the "first close look at active sand dunes anywhere other than Earth."

In addition to the Matt Damon film, real-life Mars travel has taken on a life of its own. In the past year alone, NASA has unveiled a three-step plan for sending astronauts to Mars, asked for the public's help in designing Mars habitats and created an Iron Man-style robot to send to the planet. To help them with their Mars mission, the U.S. space agency has entered into a partnership with Israel, the same country that hosted an international space conference in October, where Mars was a hot topic.

This summer, about 150 space experts will convene at the Technion Institute in Israel. “Humanity wants to go to Mars, and I’m glad to be part of this step," said John Connolly, a senior engineer at NASA who is helping to organize the Israel event. "Space is the next ocean that we want to cross in order to discover what’s just beyond our reach.”

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You can now take a (virtual) walk on Mars
NASA releases a 360-degree video that you can control.