Thursday, March 31, 2016

Walk on the Wild Side

Click the arrow to watch the promotional film. Video source: NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory YouTube channel.

PC Magazine published a report March 30 that a virtual reality experience will come to the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex this summer giving guests the opportunity to walk on Mars.

Visitors to NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida will soon be able to experience what it's like to walk on Mars, thanks to a new partnership with Microsoft. Using Microsoft's HoloLens headsets, the public will be able to take tours of parts of the Red Planet this summer, guided by astronaut great Buzz Aldrin.

HoloLens is Microsoft's augmented reality device, which is now shipping to developers, the company announced at its Build Developers Conference today. It's not quite the immersive virtual reality experience that true VR headsets like the Oculus Rift offer, but it's still capable of stitching together real imagery from NASA's Curiosity Mars Rover, which has been exploring the planet since August 2012.

When the exhibit goes live this summer, visitors who don the HoloLens will be greeted by Apollo 11 astronaut Aldrin, who serves as a holographic tour guide. He'll be joined by a Mars Rover driver, who will explain scientific discoveries and Mars facts while visitors are free to make their own way through the rocky terrain.

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