NASA and Mark Zuckerberg Tease Virtual Reality View of Mars

Mark Zuckerberg wants you to get excited about virtual reality — and a panorama of Mars taken by NASA's Curiosity rover is as good a way as any to do that. The Facebook CEO posted a 360-degree view taken by the rover on (where else) Facebook earlier this week.

"You can look around like you're actually on the planet," he wrote, although the distortion makes the "Namib" sand dune Curosity recently passed by into more of a sand cliff face. It might be a little easier to comprehend if you were wearing a headset from Oculus, the VR company Facebook purchased in 2014 for $2 billion.

Zuckerberg and others frequently describe in glowing terms the potential of VR, but consumers are yet to be convinced — largely because there is hardly any VR hardware available to buy just yet. But with headsets coming out from Oculus, HTC and perhaps Sony too this year, 2016 could be when virtual reality finally starts living up to the promise.

Related: Why Is Facebook So Sure That Virtual Reality Is the Next Big Thing?