Images taken by the high-resolution camera, HiRISE, on board the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter help scientists understand more about the red planet’s surface and how its climate has changed over time.
The HiRISE team’s media coordinator said that opening the website up to a Russian-speaking audience is particularly important since Russia and the United States work together on board the International Space Station.
Earlier this year, Russian space enthusiasts tracking images sent back by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter identified what they said could be remnants of a Soviet spacecraft that landed on Mars in 1971.
NASA is investigating, but has yet to confirm that the image is of the Soviet Union’s Mars 3 probe, which made the first successful soft landing on the planet and sent data back to Earth for a few seconds before it stopped transmitting for unknown reasons.
In June, NASA launched Russian-language accounts on microblogging site Twitter and picture blog site Tumblr that for the first time made comments and information regarding its pictures of Mars accessible to a Russian-speaking audience.
A team of 60 volunteer translators, working with the HiTranslate project that aims to make the Mars information accessible to a non-English-speaking audience, provides content for all three Russian-language sites.
In addition to English and Russian, the HiRISE site is available in Arabic, Dutch, French, Greek, Icelandic, Italian, Portuguese and Spanish.