Rover’s Return: Don’t Forget NASA’s Curiosity Sim

Look, I know I already posted about NASA’s Unity-powered Mars exploration sim not three weeks ago, but given those marvellous men and women and their remote-controlled flying machines have just managed to successfully land a nuclear-powered robot on the Red Planet, it seems entirely timely to flag it up again. Particlarly because the game/sim is being updated with the Curiosity rover’s progress and discoveries in something like real-time. Go look!

Maybe you can be there at the precise moment it’s obliterated by the one of the Cybermen who’ve been hiding in the Gale Crater for the last 500 years. Or ‘just’ observe one of science’s greatest achievements in action, admittedly in the form of some rather lousy textures. Still, I love the concept. Not as much as these guys do, though…

Bless ’em.


  1. smi1ey says:

    *comment about discovering prothean ruins*

    • EPICTHEFAIL says:

      Aren`t those supposed to be on the southern pole of Mars? Also, we`d probably find out about those by having the probe suddenly crash into the planet with the energy of a Tsar Bomba.

      Edit: Also, Prothean should be capitalized as it is a title, as opposed to the civilization`s actual name. /grammar Nazi

      • Mr. Mister says:

        Which makes me think, does anybody know wether the magnetic poles in Mars are the same as the geographic ones (just not the opposite, not asking about the exxact same location)?

        There’s no reason they couldn’t be.

        • JustAPigeon says:


          Mars doesn’t have a magnetosphere.

        • Hoaxfish says:

          Mars has a whole bunch of magnetic fields going on… some theories say that at one time it had an earth like field, but because it all went la-la all the life died off.

          • MadMatty says:

            Basically you need a magnetic field to contain an atmosphere, like earths, and since MarsĀ“ magnetic fields got messed up, the atmosphere has been seeping out into space.

      • smi1ey says:

        i also should have capitalized the first letter of the sentence and used a period at the end, but that’s generally not how i write when i make comments on websites. :P

    • gmcleod says:

      Within an hour of the landing Curiosity’s first image was posted on the Mass Effect fb page with a prothean beacon clearly visible on the left.

  2. Mr. Mister says:

    Nuclear powered eh? That little guy’s gonna work for a long, looong time…

    Until we run out of Curiosity.

  3. Screwie says:

    That is pretty awesome.

    Also, both the Mars Curiosity rover and the Gale Crater suddenly have their own parody Twitter accounts…

    • Giant, fussy whingebag says:

      I’m pretty sure that @MarsCuriosity is actually an official feed from NASA and I’ve been following it for months.

      But this game… you can’t actually do anything? I want to blast rocks with my science-laser!

      • Hoaxfish says:

        There isn’t even a Robot Wars style fighting game vs earlier successes.

        • Vinraith says:

          Being as Curiosity is the only one that’s armed in any meaningful sense (it has what is essentially a “mining laser” in SPAZ terms), that’d be a short game. It’s also much, much bigger than the older ones.

  4. houldendub says:

    Let’s be honest, the only thing anyone ever does in this is to a) crash it as hard and humorously as possible, b) land it as fast as possible, c) fly to a better planet.

  5. NaturalDre says:

    Awesome! I watched the simulation for nearly 2 hours ’til touchdown yesterday as well as their livestreams xD Definitely going to try this out.

  6. Hoaxfish says:

    martian cats are now an endangered species

  7. Calabi says:

    There doesnt seem to be much to happening, I think the rover has broke already.

  8. SuperDuperStormTrooper says:

    Can we discover aliens already some we can make leet games about alien realism?

  9. lordcooper says:

    This entire thing has just been a publicity stunt for the 22cans game.

  10. Lamellama says:

    We got thumbnails!

  11. Ashbery76 says:

    Look at all those evil white men Alec.You must hate it.

  12. LionsPhil says:

    But can you roll it while trying to clamber out of the crater, leaving yourself helpless on your back, like a turtle?

  13. TheIronSky says:

    So you made a whole entry for it but didn’t provide a direct link?
    aedasfdgsdfvbssgfrnb dhgfb.

    • LionsPhil says:

      Oh, so it’s not just me being too inept to find the link, then.

      I suspect “Go look!” was meant to be it.

      • TheIronSky says:

        I think that “Bless ’em” should be the link because it adds a bit of a sanctified attitude to an otherwise entirely science-y post about space and robots.

        God Bless God Bless Jesus Bless Allah Bless Mohammed Bless Triangle God Bless Jewish God Bless Maynard James Keenan Bless God Bless Allah Bless Jesus Bless God, In the power of Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior Amen.

  14. Shortwave says:

    I was watching it, thankfully. Someone linked me and I had no idea it was happening.
    The excitement in that place was freakin’ contagious. So much fun to watch, so brilliant.
    NASA has the right idea with these live streamings, the quality was superb really.
    It’s a good way to get people interesting in funding in the future.

    I’ll die when I get to touch this simulator.

  15. Kevin says:

    Since this is a true sim that models the rover authentically, does it take 13 minutes for every control input to respond due to the distance radio signals need to travel from Earth to Mars.

    If not, then no deal.

  16. alway says:

    Oy, it’s not just a nuclear powered robot, as some anti-American British propagandists would have you believe!

    It is, in fact, a car-sized, semi-autonomous, nuclear powered, laser-wielding robot, sent to seek vengeance for its felled comrade Spirit while continuing her mission! That Martian dust won’t see what hit it. It’s time to find out just what Mars is made of.

  17. Cosmic Heel says:

    … but given those marvellous men and women and their remote-controlled flying machines…

    correction: that should read computer-controlled. It takes 14 minutes for a EM signal to travel from the earth to mars, controlling the landing remotely would be impossible.
    Also its a more of a falling machine than a flying machine but its close enough as at least one of its stages can hover.

  18. solymer89 says:

    In regards to that video… so that’s what a nerdgasm looks like….

    (this is in no way meant to demean or otherwise devalue what these folks did, I’m just callin it like I see it lol)