PETER MENZEL / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY PETER MENZEL / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Virtual reality: video image showing the contours of the Valles Marineris of the planet Mars, computer-generated from data provided by the Viking spacecraft at NASA's Ames Research Centre, California. Sophisticated computers & sensors provide the user with a "telepresence" in the virtual world, through small video screens mounted in goggles on a headset, whilst a spherical joystick controls movement through the virtual landscape. One future Martian application of this system might be in gathering geological samples by remote control using a "rover" robot. A sensor in the geologist's headset could direct the robot at specific sample targets.
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