Take a virtual trip to the International Space Station In this image made from video provided by NASA, U.S. astronauts Peggy Whitson, above, and Shane Kimbrough work on the outside of the International Space Station on Thursday, March 30, 2017. (NASA via AP/Thomas Pesquet via AP)
Take a virtual trip to the International Space Station
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What's life like aboard the International Space Station? This is a question only a select few can answer. But thanks to a new virtual reality tour, more people than ever can step aboard the floating lab. They can virtually explore the station and its mindboggling views. This is according to Mashable's Adario Strange.
 
The program was created in cooperation with NASA and the Canadian and European space agencies. It is called Mission: ISS. And it's probably the closest you'll ever come to visiting the space station. The program uses Oculus Rift virtual reality and Oculus Touch motion control. They create a realistic simulation of life aboard the station.
 
As Oculus writes on its blog, the movie was designed to recreate the ISS "in painstaking detail." It is a free simulation. The program was based on NASA models. It was developed with the input of astronauts and NASA's Virtual Reality Laboratory. The lab uses virtual reality. It can train astronauts for their in-space tasks.
 
With the help of motion controls, users can try their hand at everything from spacewalks to docking spacecrafts. This is all in a simulated zero-gravity environment. (Strange warns that the simulated weightlessness is so realistic that users might want to sit down before stepping into the virtual world.)
 
The simulation may be fun, but it is no video game, Strange writes. The program is intended give users a realistic idea of what it's like to live in space. Users can also learn about individual astronauts and the history of the ISS through a series of video clips. The team is also testing the program as an educational tool. It could teach high school students about the station.
 
Augmented reality is already being tested in space. This is with the help of Microsoft's HoloLens headset. One day, it will be used to guide repairs and let on-ground techs see exactly what astronauts observe. Virtual reality has yet to make it into space. That's about to change, according to the Oculus blog. An Oculus headset will be sent to space. It will be used by astronaut Thomas Pesquet to test how gravity affects spatial awareness.

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CRITICAL THINKING QUESTION
Why don't we know all the ways VR will be used in space?
Write your answers in the comments section below


COMMENTS (31)
  • nicks6-har
    4/12/2017 - 02:53 p.m.

    We don't know all the ways VR will be used in space because we haven't discovered those ways yet.

  • ahnad-orv
    4/12/2017 - 04:06 p.m.

    Its crazy how far technology has come. 80 years ago space was just an idea but now we have the tecnology to make it look like we are in space.

  • chloesr
    4/13/2017 - 08:53 a.m.

    No because if you run out of food what would you eat? Also what if you were in trouble and no one came to save you?

    • juliewr
      4/20/2017 - 12:54 p.m.

      You would be in a space station and if you needed help you would be fine if you brought your friends.

  • juliewr
    4/13/2017 - 08:56 a.m.

    I would love to be in space a think it would be a good idea to be able to do. Besides it would be a very cool thing if I could use virtual reality in space it would be so cool. I think that it would be even better if you could bring your friends with you. The only reason why I would want to go to space is to be able to bring my friends with with me. That is why I would want to go to space.

  • camillehr
    4/13/2017 - 08:56 a.m.

    I don't want to go to space because I'm afraid of heights.Also the text said you should sit down with the virtual reality . I would be scared. I would not go to space.

  • serenitycr
    4/13/2017 - 08:58 a.m.


    I wouldn't want to go to space because if you run out of oxygen you would suffocate.I don't want to suffocate.Another reason is that space people are working on a mission called the iss and I don't want to be involved in a mission.

  • lylaer
    4/13/2017 - 08:58 a.m.

    I wold not want to go to space.Here re some reason's why. in space you have to worry about how you get clean there's not a shower in space do you want to be unclean?Another reason is will I be able to bring my family? I wold not want to go to space without my family.Here is one more reason if someone turn's the gravity on and someone tell's them to turn it off we wold have a really hard landing.That is why I wold not want to go to space.

    • juliewr
      4/20/2017 - 12:57 p.m.

      You could bring your friends and if you bring your friends you would feel at home with your friends not your family.

  • cadem1-har
    4/13/2017 - 10:37 a.m.

    Microsoft's doesn't know all the ways VR will be used in spaces because it has never been in space. We know this because in paragraph 7 of "Take a Virtual Trip to the International Space Station" it said," Virtual reality has yet to make it into space." we can see that they can't tell all the ways it can help if it doesn't get tested and moved to space. So to conclude the reasons why Microsoft doesn't know all the ways VR will be used in is because it was never tested or was never in space.

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