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 to virtually explore the station and its mindboggling views. This is according to Mashable's Adario Strange.
 
The program was created in collaboration 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 for yourself. 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." The free simulation was based on NASA models. It was developed with the input of astronauts and NASA's Virtual Reality Laboratory. The lab uses virtual reality to 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 - 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 to teach high school students about the station.
 
Augmented reality is already being tested in space with the help of Microsoft's HoloLens headset, which will one day be used to guide repairs and let on-ground techs see exactly what astronauts observe. But virtual reality - completely immersive simulations - 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 and 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 (12)
  • brycew-orv
    4/14/2017 - 02:44 p.m.

    Well way we don't is maybe because they don't want is to know. They might have some things there going to do with it that has to do with coming that is top secret.

  • genesisj-
    4/18/2017 - 01:01 p.m.

    maybe because something can happen that's not supposed to be done in space with VR.

  • bkyle-dav
    4/19/2017 - 07:33 p.m.

    In response to "Take a virtual trip to the International Space Station," I think that it is a great idea to have a VR tour of the International Space Station. One reason I think it is a great idea is that it will show you what life is like aboard the space station. Another reason is that it can be used to educate people about space and how it effects us. It says in the article,"The team is also testing the program as an educational tool to teach high school students about the station.". A third reason is that it will help astronauts with space walks and docking spacecrafts. Even though I think space is pretty cool, I think I prefer to be on the ground on earth were I don't go drifting off somewhere.

  • izzyb1-har
    4/20/2017 - 08:51 p.m.

    We may not know all of the ways that VR is used in space because of many reasons like if the information is deemed top secret by the government officials. Another reason is the new ways may not yet be tested and if are not safe the people in change will not want to have the public know that this is not safe. All in all, there could be more ways because the human imagination is endless but how knows we may know of all the ways that VR is used in space.

  • dmatthew-dav
    4/20/2017 - 09:13 p.m.

    In response to "Take a virtual trip to the International Space Station ," I say that is not an accurate simulator. One reason I say this is that not all astronauts have tested the VR set. Another reason is that some people don't know the size of the international space station the VR set might not be that show the whole international space station. It says in the article _ But virtual reality - completely immersive simulations - has yet to make it into space. A third reason the VR is not accurate the space station probably goes over the world 15 times in a day. Even though its fun, I think it is not accurate enough to show you everything inside the international space station.

  • sayida-dav
    4/20/2017 - 10:50 p.m.

    In response to this article, I agree that you can use VR to learn about the history of the ISS and to actually see it for yourself . One reason I agree is that it will be a really cool experience because you get to see the ISS all around you and get to go into a floating lab to see what it's like in zero gravity. Another reason is that it's not just a toy, it's also a learning experience to see what it's like to live in space, it's also a testing program to teach high school students about ISS. It says in the article, "The team is also testing the program as an educational tool to teach high school students about the station." Even though it's not a regular VR toy, I think it is still a great learning experience for everyone.

  • alexd1-bur
    4/27/2017 - 08:59 a.m.

    The main reason is because of how NASA has top secret things in space so they wouldn't really want to show to anyone in the world.

  • ellaj1-bla
    4/28/2017 - 08:32 a.m.

    We probably do not know all the ways VR will be used in space because NASA and the Canadian and European space agencies are still trying to find different ways in order to use it. It is also a possibility that they do not want us to know what they are planning because it is a secret. Maybe, the ways that the VR is going to be used will be announced to the public later in the future, but they have to make sure that everything is perfect, and that there are no mistakes.

  • MYoussef17
    5/08/2017 - 04:22 p.m.

    We don't know because the government may want to keep it a secret. They wouldn't want the public knowing what happening until they want them to know.

  • michaelv659596-
    5/16/2017 - 10:23 a.m.

    Three Facts
    1. Oculus rift is working with NASA and is creating a virtual reality that replicates being on a space station, with motion sensors and even zero gravity.

    2. It is being used to teach high school students about what astronauts do at space stations.

    3.Eventually things similar to this will be used on astronauts to help them guide through repairs and other helpful things.

    Questions
    1. How long was NASA and the other companies working on this for?

    2. When will the astronauts use the Hololens in space to help them with their activities.

    Opinions
    1. I would love to try these out because it would be coll to do "repairs" and feel like what zero gravity feels like.

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