Virtual reality is a great platform for users to experience fantastic worlds and wonders, but it’s also a portal into the real life wonders very few humans get to enjoy. Outer space is one of, if not the, most incredible of those wonders and VR users are getting an opportunity to be an astronaut. In Mission: ISS, visitors will get to experience the International Space Station as only astronauts have.
Created by production company Magnum Opus in collaboration with NASA, the European Space Agency, and Canadian Space Agency, Mission: ISS is a simulation giving a window into a world only about 500 people have ever experienced. In it, you can explore the space station in zero-g and engage in the regular tasks of an astronaut inhabitant. You’ll be docking cargo capsules, conducting spacewalks, using tools for maintenance, and other mission critical tasks while being informed of the station’s history through videos from real life astronauts. The virtual space itself was developed with input from astronauts while also inspecting NASA models so that the development team could re-create it with incredible detail.
As we previously reported, Oculus is also partnering with the French Space Agency to send an Oculus Rift loaded with software developed by space agencies to European astronaut Thomas Pesquet. With it, he’ll be testing out how a true zero gravity environment affects a person’s spatial awareness and balance in a virtual space. Pesquet has also been using a 360-degree camera to capture footage in space, and we’re looking forward to seeing both those videos and photos of him using a Rift in orbit.
The Mission: ISS application is available exclusively for Oculus Rift for free on the Oculus store and the team is also working on a limited beta program where educators will be able to provide the experience to high school students.