Virtual Reality + OuterSpace
The 32nd space symposium took place in Colorado, this week; it might have been at Cape Canaveral as well. United Launch Alliance (ULA) created a virtual reality app that dropped people onto a launch pad next to Delta Iv rocket.
Headphones blasted the booming sound while cameras near the launch pad captured the explosive column of fire that erupted from the bottom of the rocket. The cameras were placed in three different positions. Seeing the rocket body and the pillar flame up close was astounding. Smoke overwhelmed two of the cameras, but the third camera gave people a chance to look up at the rocket as it became a smaller point of light overhead. People should never actually get as close to the rocket launch as it allows you to get to the Delta IV rocket that takes off in the VR app.
The VR app is for the Oculus Rift Virtual reality headset, which provides a 360-degree view of the launch and in 3D, meaning while the video plays, the user can “look around”.
The company’s website has the ULA app available for download. Google cardboard can be used by users who don’t want to buy a VR headset. It’s a VR cardboard headset that you can assemble yourself and it requires a Smartphone. It’s much, less expensive, but obviously less impressive than an actual VR headset.
There were other booths, in addition to the ULA booth, that had a VR experience. Lockheed Martin’s VR experience was a short VR tour through the facility where the Orion capsule is brought onto the “Super Guppy”, which is an airplane designed specially for this venture. Also, Lockheed Martin had a game where players avoided tipping over the rover as they were trying to reach specific locations while navigating a Mars rover along the Red planet surface. Using another game users were able to walk around a section of the Martian surface. The company continues to work on advancing VR technology and they’re utilizing STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) for outreach and education. However, the programs seen at the Space Symposium haven’t yet been released to the public.
The Kennedy space center offers a virtual reality tour to anyone who is considering visiting the red planet this summer. Destination Mars is the new exhibit opened at the facility where a 3D, 360-degrees virtual reality view of the surface of the Mars can be viewed when the visitors don a VR headset since it was created by the rovers which took real images of the Red planet. Buzz Aldrin Is the VR projection that led the tour of the Red planet. The exhibit will have space where visitors wearing the headset will walk around and it will seem as though they’re walking around on the surface of mars.
NASA had a virtual reality tour at the Space Symposium of the (SLS) Space launch system, the agency’s new mega-rocket that’s going to hold the Orion spacecraft. A NASA rep said that there were restrictions on the rocket release information at this stage in its development. But he added that he would like to see in the next few years VR tours being a reality.