Virtual Reality

Exploring Space From the ISS with SpaceVR

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Exploring Space From the ISS with SpaceVR

As someone that likes to regularly check in on the ISS live feeds, and look out to space, pondering the same questions that must occur in the minds of most, as they observe the same scene. Or, listening to the broadcasts of the distant astronauts voices, as they execute their outer worldly obligations, all the while orbiting us lowly mortals, here on this rock we call earth. I’m no doubt a person that’s in favor of a project like Space VR, and the ideas it presents. I cast my mind back to a late summer evening, when the ISS was due to pass over my local area. I remember the satisfaction in the acknowledgment that the weather had remained clear (a rare occurrence in a UK summer). As I stood there with the low hum of the city in the distance, grumbling on by. I held my phone up to the sky, which had a compass App loaded on to the display. I directed the compass to a bearing of 19 above NW, and scanned the horizon with committed intent.

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After a few moments of no results, I began to loose trust in the app, thinking maybe it was a play App, with no real functionality. But then, just as I was about to disregard the App as useless, I saw something glistening at the threshold of my view. Approaching from the angle specified on the Nasa website, the same angle that the iPhones compass had displayed, I could see a bright reflection, one that cut through the dark shade of the sky. I continued to observe as the object drew closer, excited now, that I had confirmed internally, that the ISS was in my sight. The initial thought that struck me, was how strange it was to see something else, other then the moon, reflecting the suns light back to earth so vibrantly. The suns beam pivoted it self toward me from the side of the Space Station, as if someone were shining a giant mirror in my eyes from a far. The next thought to which my mind led, was to a boyish notion of space travel. I imagined what it would be, to be staring back down to earth from the very point at which the sun was reflecting, realizing at this moment, that a select few lucky souls, were currently doing exactly that, as the ISS passed over the sky. I still check in to see if the ISS will be passing over. But now, with the use of Virtual Reality, we may be able to get closer to the dream then we thought.

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Overview One Mark III by SpaceVR on Sketchfab

 

The SpaceVR project intends to attach the Overview One MK III 360 spherical camera to the ISS as it orbits earth, and beam back information for the world to see. This will give VR adopters a unique opportunity to see space in a way like never before. A way that has been reserved up until now, for only “536” other human beings, which is obviously a very small fraction of the 7 billions people that populate this planet.

It has been announced by SpaceVR that the content will be accessible through all mediums of VR, from the HTC Vive and the Oculus Rift, to the Google cardboard and Gear VR. The camera has been uniquely developed for the job at hand, and will be made up of parts manufactured here on earth, and other parts that will be 3D printed up on the ISS. If all goes ahead as intended, the parts for the camera will be launched in late 2015 with the intention of getting straight to work on completion of the rig. SpaceVR will then begin gathering data, images and footage, ready for consumption by fans back on earth.

Space VR is currently live on Kickstarter (at the time of writing this article), and is backed by 548 backers to the sum of $40,620 of its $100,000 goal, with 21 days still to go. If you are interested in backing this project, then head over the KickStarter page, where you will be able to make a pledge and discover more about this project and its goals. Also, if you wanted to check to see if the ISS is making a pass over your local area, then feel free to check the link provided here.

Support the SpaceVR project on Twitter by using #BeAnAstronaut.

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Joseph Smerdon

Founder of VRRelated and a VR enthusiast with a passion for gaming and all things creative. Joseph has an extensive background in the broader entertainment industry and a hunger to deliver Virtual Reality related news and content as the market develops.

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