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NASA’s HiRISE Project Launches In Dutch

HiRISE, the high resolution camera onboard the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter and the most powerful camera ever sent to another planet, is now offering captioned images in Dutch.

The HiTranslate Project is an effort that recruits volunteers to help translate captioned images into as many languages as possible, bringing Mars to people with little-to-no English skills. The project, headed by HiRISE media coordinator Ari Espinoza, is now in its second year, and has grown to include hundreds of translated images in Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, Greek and French.

“This will be the first time an active NASA mission has made its information available in the Dutch language,” Espinoza said. “This will be a terrific resource for Dutch-speakers who feel more comfortable reading in their native language while viewing our incredible images of Mars.”

Almost all of the Dutch translations were done by a single volunteer, Irene van Vessem, who lives in Belgium. “Mars and its features are a completely new and exiting subject for me,” van Vessem said. “I studied Dutch law, and worked as a translator of legal texts for more than 20 years until I retired. Many Dutch language speakers probably know enough English to understand what the HiRISE captions are about, but when I see how difficult it sometimes is to find the exact translation, I think my time as a volunteer for the project is well spent! I’m proud to help bring Mars closer to as many people as possible. As a bonus, I learn a lot of new and interesting things while doing the research for the translations.”

“Irene has done fantastic work,” Espinoza said. “Like our other volunteers, she’s been very dedicated and patient and we’re extremely happy to show off the fruits of her labor, as well as demonstrating NASA’s own commitment to public outreach.” Van Vessem is joined by two new volunteers, Edgar Stanland and Lammie Oostenbrink.

In addition to the captions, HiRISE is making audio, video, slides and tabloid-sized flyers also available in Dutch. These materials can be utilized in a classroom setting, or by interested people making a presentation about Mars. The new HiRISE site also has an RSS and Twitter feed in Dutch.

For more information about how to participate, contact the HiTranslate Project.

About HiRISE
The HiRISE camera onboard the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter is the most powerful one of its kind ever sent to another planet. Its high resolution allows us to see Mars like never before, and helps other missions choose a safe spot to land for future exploration.

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, Calif., manages the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, Washington. Lockheed Martin Space Systems is the prime contractor for the project and built the spacecraft. The HiRISE camera was built by Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. and is operated by the University of Arizona.