Past Product: Mission to Mars!

sample analysis screen

PIs: Carrie Heeter, Pericles Gomes

Mission to Mars was the first educational CD-ROM. It was designed in Hypercard on a Macintosh SE, in black and white, to run on 9 inch Macintosh screens. The CD included 161 screens with rich graphical interfaces. More than 100 different sound effects were used as audio feedback in response to mouse clicks. At the time it seemed radical to feature an American flag and then Soviet Union Flag flying together to Mars in the opening animation. An audio quote by Arthur C. Clarke declared "Mars, not the moon, will be the next frontier for manned space exploration."

Explore a galaxy of information about Mars

Investigate the future exploration of Mars

See how Mars compares to Earth

The Red Planet Circa 1989

Mission to Mars! applies the sound, graphic, animation and interactivity features of hypermedia to reinforce the sense of wonder that planetary exploration endeavors have historically invoked. More than 1000 screens of information are integrated into a whimsical interface.

Mission to Mars! was designed to synthesize and disseminate a broad compendium of facts, opinions and plans related to planetary exploration and the planet Mars. It is intended for laypersons as opposed to space scientists.

The CD-ROM was developed in 1989 for nine inch black and white Macintosh computers using HyperCard, this software is in many ways outdated by todays standards. It has not been updated, so the "facts" are frozen at the point of what was known about Mars as of 1989. Nonetheless, we still demonstrate Mission to Mars! in our design classes. It holds up as an interesting example of a coherent interface which pioneered the concept of using different sound feedback for almost every mouseclick. It was one of the first educational CD-ROMs on the market and the Communication Technology labs first commercial CD-ROM.

It's fun, a little weird, and quite informative.

Mission to Mars! CD-ROM runs on Macintosh and requires 8 MB of RAM and the Hypercard Player.

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