Sightseeing flights over Mars might be closer than you'd guess -- SpaceX has already booked space tourists for a flight around the moon -- and one filmmaker has created a gorgeous view of what a similar tour of the Red Planet might be like using actual images from NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.
Jan Fröjdman says it took him three months to stitch together topographic data and images from the MRO's HiRISE high-resolution camera to painstakingly render a 3D video that pans across a few select Martian landscapes, creating the feeling of cruising over the planet.
Fröjdman added colors by hand to the gray-scale images taken by HiRISE, and there are even a few sound effects and the occasional blast of thrusters to add to the effect of maneuvering, I don't know, perhaps a jetpack, over our neighboring world.
"This film is not scientific," Fröjdman said in the video's description. "As a space enthusiast I have just tried to visualize the planet my way."
The video starts with an approach to the Martian moon Phobos and then glides over remarkable craters, plains, buttes and other features. There's even an appearance by the enigmatic dark lines known as recurring slope linae, which are believed to be caused by trickling water just beneath the surface of the planet's soil.
Check it out, but read this cautionary piece before you pack your bags.
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