Back in 1979, scientists at Stanford University created a 3-D movie from images sent back by the Viking landers on Mars. It was rather novel in that, while 3-D movies had been around since the 1950’s — mostly for low-budget B movies in theaters — this stereographic film was more scientific in nature, but was created for the public to learn more about the Viking mission and Mars, providing a “you are there” experience. It was created using 16mm film, which degrades over time. Considering the unique historical and scientific value of this film, a group from NASA’s Ames Research Center have constructed a new remastered digital version, made from the original 16mm film footage, sound reels, and related documentation.
Plans are underway to hold screenings of this new version of Mars in 3-D in Digital Cinema 3-D format. But in the meantime you can watch it now online in a digital anaglyph version, best viewed with red-cyan 3-D glasses.
Read more about the remastering process and read original papers from the imaging team from Viking at the Ames History Office website.