NASA and Microsoft have launched an interactive web site that allows web surfers to become Mars explorers, AFP reports. The "Be a Martian" web site invites members of the public to help scientists perform such research tasks as improving maps of the red planet. "We’re at a point in history where everyone can be an explorer," Doug McCuistion, director of NASA’s Mars Exploration Program, said in a statement. "With so much data coming back from Mars missions that are accessible by all, exploring Mars has become a shared human endeavor.

People worldwide can expand the specialized efforts of a few hundred Mars mission team members and make authentic contributions of their own." For example, users can count craters on Mars, a task NASA said has posed a challenge in the past because of the vast numbers involved. "The collaboration of thousands of participants could help scientists produce far better maps," NASA and Microsoft said…

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