06 October 2015 13:48:54 IST

NASA orbiter captures sites of ‘The Martian’ landings

Eponymous novel used actual locations on Mars for landing sites, says NASA

NASA’s Mars orbiter has captured stunning images of the real regions on Mars featured in the best-selling novel and Hollywood movie The Martian .

The novel of the same name used actual locations on Mars for the landing sites for its “Ares 3” and “Ares 4” missions, NASA said.

The landing sites for “Ares 3” is on a Martian plain named Acidalia Planitia. The base for the “Ares 4” mission was set inside a crater named Schiaparelli, the US space agency said.

Views of these two sites, and other locations pertinent to the fictional story, are in the latest weekly release of images from the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera on NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.

Each observation by HiRISE covers an area of several square miles and shows small details.

More than 39,000 of them have been taken since the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter reached Mars in 2006. They are available online for anyone to explore.

The HiRISE team has an online process through which anyone can register to submit suggestions for sites to be imaged on Mars.

HiRISE has provided important information used in selection landing sites for NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover and other robotic missions.

Its observations will be used during a workshop this month in US for consideration of landing areas for real future human missions, NASA said.