It's kind of amazing to think that right this moment, there's a robot on Mars that we built and sent there. It's doing some unprecedented research and taking some incredible pictures. We've never seen the Red Planet like this!
Now you can see what it would be like if you were up there on Mars with the Curiosity rover right now. NASA has launched a browser-based simulator for Curiosity, called Experience Curiosity.
You can virtually pilot the rover and explore the Pahrump Hills region of Gale Crater on Mars. The rover has seven cameras you can manipulate for different views of the Red Planet's surface. Click on a location on the landscape and Curiosity will drive to that spot (at 20 times its actual speed). There's a mode where you can investigate the rover's main components, like its drill, as well.
The simulator also lets you replay Curiosity's activities in the area. Or you can check out significant features of the Pahrump Hills area, like Whale Rock, which has ripples in its layers from water flowing over it when it was formed.
Click here to get started exploring the landscape of Mars. One note for users: If you have a slower Internet connection or an older computer, you may experience sluggishness or other difficulties with Experience Curiosity.