Return to Mars: Feature in Stanford Magazine

More than thirty years after its debut—as the soundtrack to footage of the red planet from the Viking missions—a historic piece of computer music has been restored by its Stanford creators.

“Mars was in the sky,” says John Chowning, his voice soft and nostalgic as he casts his mind’s eye back to a late July evening in 1980. The event was an outdoor concert and film screening in the Stanford hills near Felt Lake. For one portion, the roughly 300 attendees donned red/cyan stereoscopic glasses to view 3D images of the surface of Mars, projected on a large screen. Rockscape shots of curious dust patches and winding depressions captured during the first successful landings on the red planet by the Viking 1 and 2 spacecraft in 1976 had been turned into a 32-minute movie. Read more...
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