An Incredible Way to Experience Space with SpaceVR
Mission Control Says SpaceVR Overview 1 to launch June 2017. So who is SpaceVR? They are a startup that first raised funds on Kickstarter to launch a camera satellite into Earth’s Orbit. Their goal is to create both virtual tourism and to help raise awareness about the Earth and how we impact it. Since then, they have formed more partnerships and added a variety of experts to their board to help them make their goal a reality.
The Overview 1 satellite will enable us to experience space in Virtual Reality. The aim is for us to experience what is called the Overview Effect. This is the term used by Astronauts to describe the moment they realise or understand their place in “infinite universe by direct observation.” By using VR headsets we will be able to have a similar feeling by looking around and seeing both the Earth down below and the stars, Moon and planets around us.
The satellite will consist of a series of 4K cameras which will capture and create a 360 virtual reality experience. Overview 1 will delivered to the International Space Station on the SpaceX CRS-12 mission. Overview 1 will head to the ISS inside one of SpaceX’s Dragon cargo capsules during the CRS-12 resupply mission. The delivery of the payload is in large part to their partnership formed with NanoRocks (they run a commercial laboratory on the International Space Station). Once at the space station, it will then be deployed using the NanoRacks CubeSat Deployer (NRCSD) into a low Earth orbit.
SpaceVR actually started this project back in 2015 when they launched on Kickstarter. Back then they had intended to send a much larger 12-camera rig to the ISS for a full 3D 360 degree experience. However, the initial campaign was short of the $500,000 so they relaunched the campaign with a scaled down project of $100,000 for a 2D experience. After succeeding on their 2nd attempt, they then received an investment of $1.25M which enabled them to move forwards fairly quickly.
With their launch date now fast approaching, SpaceVR can comfortably claim to have the “world’s first virtual reality camera satellite.”
To access and experience space, they have already started taking pre-orders for their subscription-based service of $35/year. All you will need is a VR headset for the fully immersive experience. Exciting right? I guess you might just want to sit down the first time you are seeing the Earth from orbit. I for one am counting down with Mission Control!