Facebook CEO Shares ‘pretty amazing’ NASA 360 Footage of Mars’ Surface

There’s a debate forever ongoing within the virtual reality (VR) community as to if 360 degree video content – especially that which is only 2D – really counts as VR. With current content largely lacking in essential features such as positional tracking and more, it’s easy to see why some don’t hold this media to the same standard as VR videogames and other experiences. That said, there’s some 360 degree content that’s worth the look even if you might not classify it as VR, and Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Oculus VR owner Facebook has recently posted one great example of this.


Earlier this week Zuckerberg took to Facebook to post a 360 degree video taken from the surface of Mars as captured by NASA’s Curiosity Mars Rover. The video has had its images stitched together by the Facebook video team. As with all Facebook 360 content, it can be viewed on a PC by clicking and dragging the cursor, on the user’s smartphone by tilting the device and, most importantly, on the Gear VR mobile-based head-mounted display (HMD), made by Oculus VR and Samsung. To do this, find the video in the Facebook app, click the VR option and then insert your phone into the Gear VR.

Doing so will allow you to look at the video as if you were there for yourself. “This is just the beginning of what we can do with virtual reality and 360 video,” Zuckerberg said of the footage. “Pretty amazing.”

Facebook launched 360 degree videos in September 2015. It’s thought that, once the Oculus Rift PC-based HMD launches in March 2016, support for this 360 degree content will also come to that HMD. Support for non-Oculus VR HMDs such as the Google Cardboard mobile kit and HTC Vive PC-based rival is yet to be announced.

Keep reading VRFocus for the latest updates on 360 degree content and more.