GJ tech companies map Mars desert research station for virtual reality

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO/KJCT)-- It's a project that could be considered ... out of this world.

"Using our technology to advance our knowledge about something like Mars that is a mystery to a lot of people is a great opportunity," said Owner of AeroScout LLC, Benjamin Skogen.

A team of technology professionals is re-creating the Mars landscape with the Mars Desert Research Station in Hanksville, Utah.

"The end result is we will have a virtual reality simulation of that spot in Utah," said Studio Director for SynaptixGames, Robert Madsen.

That's because scientists say the two landscapes look a lot alike.

"My role for the Mars project is to fly a drone and map the area around the Mars Desert Research station," Skogen said.

"I take those photographs, and through a process called photogrammetry, I generate a 3D model of the terrain," said Owner of Georanger, Carey Wheeler.

They hope to build something as realistic as possible.

"I would like to produce a really high-resolution image. So a really high-resolution model, a 3D model," Wheeler said.

"I'd like to have the highest possible imagery resolution in there, that depicts an accurate representation from the ground level of what it could look like," Skogen said.

Its virtual reality, blurring with actual reality.

"You could imagine now, virtual missions where people don't actually have to travel to Utah, they can be anywhere in the world," Madsen said.

The goal is to put anyone on the red planet.

"We feel like we can use it for educational purposes, and have a forward-looking view of someday, a life on Mars," Skogen said.

For more information on aerial imaging for this project visit https://www.aeroscout.io/.

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