However glorious the life of an astronaut may seem, there are realistic pitfalls of the incredible missions they undertake. The journey into space is an isolated and claustrophobic one, but company 8i is hoping to combat that. A company on a mission to “make virtual reality human”, 8i, has partnered with TIME Inc. to bring holographic messages from second-man-on-the-moon Buzz Aldrin, as well as entertainer Reggie Watts, to the LIFE VR platform. The “Message to Mars” recordings will be used during a Mars simulation journey and are made possible through 8i’s technology that brings lifelike holograms to virtual spaces. Using this format, “Message to Mars” could provide an immersive tool that could help cope with the isolation of the lengthy trip to the red planet.
“As humans embrace the extraordinary commitment to leave Earth and make Mars their home, virtual reality will be a very important way of staying in touch,” said Aldrin. “What could be more stimulating to students, scientists, and political leaders on Earth than to experience life on another a planet, and for the astronauts journeying to Mars to receive messages from back home? I’m honored to leave my message behind for these courageous men and women who will go down in history in a way that no one ever has before.”
Aldrin will be sharing his own experiences through “Message to Mars” while Watts will be beatboxing and bringing a humorous style all his own for his message. Additional messages from people other than Aldrin and Watts are slated to be revealed early next year and hopefully they’ll continue to strike this balance between informed encouragement and pure entertainment. We reported previously on LIFE VR, one of the tools being used to bring this to life, and TIME Inc’s VR initiative is already making interesting strides in storytelling.