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 (95)
  • 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.

  • jazminew-orv
    4/13/2017 - 11:36 a.m.

    I think its cool to take a virtual trip to outer space. I of course dont want to really go out into space but taking a virtual one sounds cool.

  • angelinac-pay
    4/13/2017 - 01:09 p.m.

    We do not know all the ways VR will be used in space because the whole concept is still rather new and many experiments must be done before it can be sent to space. The thing with VR is that we are in the stages of mainly just playing games on it but not for actual reality as VR does stand for Virtual Reality.

  • mikaelb-kut
    4/17/2017 - 07:54 a.m.

    This could be very helpful to engineers to understand space tech, and with that knowledge they can start new careers in space technology.

  • aidenj57-
    4/17/2017 - 08:31 a.m.

    space is endless so the possibilities are endless

  • sterlingt-
    4/17/2017 - 08:36 a.m.

    how will a VR be able to work in space and how will it teach the high school students learn from it

  • wesleya-
    4/17/2017 - 08:38 a.m.

    Cause somethings have to be private.

  • metau-cel
    4/17/2017 - 10:18 a.m.

    European and Canadian space agencies are teaming up with NASA to create Mission:ISS. The program uses Oculus Rift virtual reality and Oculus Touch motion control to create a realistic simulation of life aboard the station as if you were one of the astronauts in space. We don't know all the ways VR will be used in space yet because there is still so much more to discover and so many ways it could be used.

  • robbiet-har
    4/17/2017 - 10:49 a.m.

    We don't know all the ways VR will be used in space because it hasn't been tested yet. VR has not been to space yet but, "That is about to change", says the oculus blog. It is going to go to space for the first time with Thomas Pesquet. He will use the VR in space to test how "Gravity affects spatial awareness". This proves that when VR is sent to space, it will be used to test things that we have never been able to before. In the end, VR has not been sent to space yet so therefore we do not know all of the ways that it can be used in space. However, that is about to change when an oculus is sent aboard a spaceship.

  • kelseyk-obr
    4/17/2017 - 01:39 p.m.

    We don't know all the ways VR will be used in space because people have not discovered those ways yet. I think that we also don't know those ways yet because they don't want us to know. They might have figured them out but won't show them to the public. We also don't know because maybe scientists don't want to know. I think that it is very cool because you don't have to risk your life just to see a space station. Like it said in the passage not many people would get to see a space station with out the ISS program. It might effect the space station though because people might not volunteer their time to go into space because they can see what it's like without leaving their own home, but it might not because maybe people would like to volunteer their time to go into space.

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