​NASA 'Mars Trek' tool takes you on virtual tour of Red Planet

​NASA 'Mars Trek' tool takes you on virtual tour of Red Planet
While some of us are still trying to wrap our heads around the capabilities of Google Earth, NASA has made it possible to explore Mars without leaving our home planet – or even our actual home.

Mars Trek is an interactive map composed of images taken from a several past missions. You can choose to view the Red Planet in 2D or 3D and zoom in on specific areas.

The program also offers users a variety of views: north polar, south polar, and global. And believe it or not, those views offer some pretty amazing scenes – including valleys, volcanoes, and other Martian landforms, as well as the landing spots of famous Mars rovers.

If you're afraid of what you might find while navigating the Red Planet all alone, don't worry. You can use the handy “bookmarks” function, which will automatically take you to the Mars' most interesting areas, including the Olympus Mons volcano – the largest volcano in the solar system, measuring 379 miles in diameter.

You can even recreate elements of the trip using a 3D printer – consider it a modern day postcard from the most exotic place you've ever “visited.”

NASA says that Mars Trek is primarily aimed at students and the general public, though more technical information for scientists and advanced students will come in the future.