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Now you can land on Mars, virtually

December 27, 2005 11:20 IST

You need not be a billionaire or an astronaut to land on the Mars anymore. It's just a ride away.

West Bengal Minister for Power and Non-Conventional Energy Sources Mrinal Banerjee on Tuesday inaugurated a new exhibit 'Landing on Mars' at the Energy Education Park in Kolkata.

It seeks to provide a glimpse of life in the red planet. The visitors will first board the spacecraft that virtually takes off from the Energy Park Space Station.

During the 20-minute journey, visitors will get near Mars after passing the Moon.

The exhibit seeks to address why human existence is not possible in Mars. 

To give a realistic feeling, the spacecraft will even dock with another spacecraft floating in Mars' atmosphere.

After successful docking (docking is always successful), the passengers will be requested to walk to the other spacecraft after loosening their seat belts.

Here, passengers get to feel the environment, its rocks, craters, the volcanoes, stormy weather and can even see a robot collecting dust and sending pictures to earth. 

The total cost involved investments of Rs 35 lakh provided by member of Parliament Dipankar Mukherjee. 

The spacecraft, which can seat up to 12 people at one go, will be open to the public from December 31.

The journey promises to be an exciting one, mixing entertainment with education.  The ride costs Rs 50.

'Landing on Mars' is an extension of the 'Journey to Sun' concept, inaugurated by Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee in August 2003.

The exhibit is the first of its kind in the country.

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