Want To Be An Astronaut? SpaceVR Gives You An Opportunity – Virtually, At Least

Want To Be An Astronaut? SpaceVR Gives You An Opportunity – Virtually, At Least
OUTER SPACE whologwhy / Flickr CC BY 2.0
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SpaceVR is launching a Kickstarter to give people a virtual sighting of outer space.


‘It’s Netflix, Except You Get To Go To Space’

To execute this, the company intends to send a 12-camera rig capable of shooting three dimensional and 360-degree video to the International Space Station (ISS). Through a subscription charge, people will be able to view the virtual reality footage of the space collected by the camera.

“It’s like Netflix, except you get to go to space,” Isaac DeSouza, SpaceVR’s co-founder and CTO, said.

Each camera of the camera rig – called Overview One – will shoot 4K video, piece it together into a VR video sphere, and send it to earth. A two-hour recording session will transmit 624GB of data.

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“The camera is a handheld camera,” DeSouza said, as reported by Wired.

“We envision the astronauts being able to put the camera in places like the Cupola, you just clip it on there. But at the same time, the astronauts are welcome and encouraged to move the camera around, put it in different modules, record different things. Eventually what we want to see is enough footage so we can create 3D models where VR headsets that have positional tracking can take advantage of it, too.”

The company’s co-founders have expressed their interest in doing live feeds eventually.

For this, SpaceVR is asking for $500,000 required for launch costs and the first year of operations.

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Users with Samsung Gear VR, Oculus Rift, HTV Vive, Google Cardboard or other virtual reality gear will be able to watch the live video footage. The subscription charges could be priced at around $10 a month. SpaceVR is also looking to license content for games.

‘You Can Capture That Moment For An Entire Planet All At Once’

According to The Verge, SpaceVR will have access to a transmission speed of five or six megabytes per second – ISS can send data to Earth at 300MB per second – but it will require as much as 60MB per second to deliver high quality live streaming virtual reality footage from outer space, DeSouza says.

Apollo 14 astronaut Edgar Mitchell, the sixth person to walk on the moon, and private astronaut Richard Garriott are advertising SpaceVR’s project, as reported by USA Today.

The footage will be sent to Earth from the cupola module, the viewing port of the ISS. Subscribers will also be able to view special events such as spacewalks and Fourth of July fireworks.

“From space you can capture that moment for an entire planet all at once,” DeSouza says.

The transmission of live streaming is set to begin in the first quarter of 2016.

“Most people once dreamed of becoming an astronaut. In reality, only a tiny fraction of humanity has experienced life outside Earth’s atmosphere,” Ryan Holmes, SpaceVR’s co-founder and CEO, said.

“Our project gives everyone the opportunity to become an astronaut and to realistically experience seeing the Earth in its entirety — recognizing its preciousness and fragility in our universe. It is our goal to offer this experience to anyone through every virtual reality platform.”

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