The International Space Station (ISS) is one of humanities greatest achievements, yet is one that few of us will ever get to see with our own eyes. That said, we can get a little closer now that NASA has made an ISS VR experience!
You’ll still need to spend a little money to get “there” but a lot less than if you were strapping in to a SpaceX rocket.
The International Space Station (ISS)
Launched in 1998, the ISS is a low orbiting artificial satellite, which can sometimes be seen by the naked eye. It’s the result of continuous work between five space agencies: NASA, Roscomos, JAXA, ESA and CSA.
It’s purpose is to serve as a research facility, and its existence has inspiration much more, for example the sci-fi film Gravity. The ISS has a live broadcast running 24 hours a day, that you may want to see if you are into space exploration, but I would recommend checking out ISS via the VR experience.
Mission ISS VR Experience
NASA does a lot of cool things, and does a lot to keep people close to their space program. Making the Mission ISS VR experience is just another cool way to make people feel interested about the work our NASA scientist do.
And no, NASA didn’t actually spend your taxpayer’s money on a VR game… A company called Magnopus designed and built the Mission ISS VR app, with NASA, the European Space Agency and the Canadian Space Agency as advisers to the project.
The Mission ISS VR app is based around the three dimensional models of the International Space Station, and with the input from former astronauts. The game designers interviewed astronauts that were stationed at the ISS in order to get the most genuine representation of the ISS.
Mission ISS’s Platform
Yet another reason to buy the Oculus… Mission ISS VR is currently available on Oculus Rift only, and it has full functionality with the Oculus Touch! With the Oculus Touch, players can perform a set of crucial tasks within the ISS. Players can dock incoming shuttles, go on space walks and even perform critical repair missions, just like real astronauts (minus the life threatening conditions…).
Also the app features VR interviews with astronauts, as they describe what being stationed in the ISS is really like.
Mission ISS VR is completely free! and it is available through the Oculus Store, however Oculus is also launching a program to let school kids try out Mission ISS VR!
Oculus and NASA
It seems that this is more than a simple partnership to release a VR experience. Oculus not only revealed their Mission ISS VR app, but they also announced that they will be sending an Oculus Rift to the ISS. NASA wants to “test the effects of zero-gravity on human spatial awareness and balance using software developed by the space agencies”
Hopefully there is much more to come.
Image Credit Mat Hampson