Astronauts are training in space with VR devices that look goofier than AirVR*

by Will Mason • February 20th, 2015

Astronaut Terry Virts is obviously no stranger to VR. In fact he is using it right now to help train for scenarios that might help him save his life in space. The photo shows Virts using a virtual reality training simulator for the SAFER system, a jet pack that allows astronauts to return to the ISS safely, in the event that their tether is severed during a spacewalk. This training is critical as the astronauts will only have a limited amount of propulsion to safely make it back, so mastery of the controls – especially in critical situations like a tether breaking is crucial. This goes to show just one of the many ways in which virtual reality is already being utilized outside of gaming. (And the power of zero G, seriously imagine trying to use that laptop HMD on Earth, holy neck injury Batman!)

*AirVR was a goofy iPad-powered VR Kickstarter project that was successfully funded in October. The system was openly mocked on forums for its goofy appearance – and rightly so, because you may look dumb taking photos with an iPad, but you look much more dumb with one strapped to your face.

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