Welcome to MarsCAPE: Mars Communicated Through an Augmented Physical Environment

MarsCAPE is a project funded by the UK Space Agency’s “Space For All” Community Funding Scheme 2016. It utilises physical models of the Martian surface focussed on ExoMars mission sites, laser cut using the latest Digital Elevation data, upon which information about the environment is digitally projected. Its key objective is to provide the public with a novel perspective on the dynamic nature of the Martian surface, unobtainable from 2D or 3D data in isolation, and compare the geological processes that have created it with those on Earth.


  1. To engage an audience of all ages with space, and human endeavour in space, by highlighting the similarities and differences between Earth and Mars and why they exist. Our proposed work will help the public to contextualise our own place in the solar system and capitalises on the inspirational value of space to engage different audiences.
  2. We will bring the Martian surface to life, through physical landscape models augmented with animated projection. This will exploit the unique power of relief models to communicate spatial scale and context, complemented by animated projection over the surface model synchronised with first person perspective views, to improve understanding of the appearance of the Martian surface. This will open the audience’s eyes to the scale of surface features on Mars in a way that conjures curiosity into their creation and its implications for the presence of life.
  3. Education about the ExoMars mission: its aims, landing area and the UK’s involvement.
  4. Enrich the education of school children by linking physics to other subject areas, breaking down the silos that exist within the National Curriculum. Our proposal spans the Physics and Geography curriculums with the identification of geomorphological features on Mars that we find here on Earth, which require understanding of atmospheric and geological processes.
  5. Provide public access to planetary data through a novel, innovative display that informs and demonstrates new visualisation techniques that can be repeated for larger audiences.