NASA’s 360 degree video will put you on Mars

NASA has released a 360 degree video allowing you to take a virtual tour of Mars.

The YouTube video allows users to take their smartphone and move it around to see different parts of the Red Planet. Desktop users can use their mouse to take the virtual tour.

A number of images were taken by the camera on the Curiosity rover which is currently traversing Mars. These pictures were then stitched together to create the 360-degree image.

The images are taken at Namib Dune with a view of Mount Sharp in the distance. The site is part of the Bagnold Dunes. NASA said that the examination of dunes in the Bagnold field is the "first close look at active sand dunes anywhere other than Earth".

Curiosity landed on Mars in August 2012 with the mission of finding evidence that Mars had at some point had an environment to support life. Last October, Curiosity found that Mars was once, billions of years ago, capable of storing water in lakes over "an extended period of time", the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, the body behind the rover said. Water is of course crucial to life. And in September, NASA found detected a small presence of water on Mars.

NASA also said last year that Curiosity had discovered small increases of methane gas, suggesting that something is producing it.

This is not the first time NASA has released a 360-degree video since August 2012. But now technology has advanced that allows users to look around video by moving their smartphone, an option that wasn't possible three and a half years ago.

Mars has been a fascinating planet for technology companies too. Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, told CNBC last year that he hopes the first people could be taken to Mars in 10 to 12 years' time. For now, NASA's video will have to suffice.