Sci-Tech

3D Mars video traces Mark Watney's path from 'The Martian'

What would it be like to see Mars firsthand if you were scrambling across it to survive? See for yourself, in 3D, even.

See what he sees. Twentieth Century Fox

It's possible to see what Mark Watney would see on his lonely, desperate sojourn across the Red Planet from " The Martian" thanks to the Mars Express spacecraft and a whole lot of computing time spent at the German Aerospace Center.

Scientists there used a whole bunch of image data from the spacecraft's high-resolution stereo camera to reconstruct Watney's route across Mars from the hit film in 3D. (If you don't have your stereoscopic glasses handy, you can also watch it in good ol' 2D below.)

The DLR Institute of Planetary Research in Germany has been producing digital-terrain models of Mars from Mars Express data for almost a dozen years now. Mars Express is the first planetary explorer for the European Space Agency.

To visually trace Watney's steps through Chryse Planitia, the highlands of Arabia Terra and finally to his ultimate destination at Schiaparelli Crater, DLR crunched about 2 terabytes of data from 7,300 highly detailed stereo images, requiring five months of computing time spread between multiple computers.

Watch for yourself, and if you're a young person with aspirations to one day become an expatriate Martian yourself, I suggest you take notes.