Microsoft and NASA have been collaborating on ingenious ways to use mixed reality as an aid for astronauts since last year. Last December, as part of NASA's Sidekick project, two HoloLens headsets reached the International Space Station to assist and guide the crew. Now they're bringing the experience of space exploration to the public with "Destination: Mars." The interactive exhibit opening at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida this summer will allow visitors to walk on a virtual version of Mars. The planet has been created with images from NASA's Curiosity Mars Rover so you can expect your simulated exploration to be accurate. The experience will be further enhanced with a holographic version of Apollo 11 astronaut Buzz Aldrin, who will guide you through your stroll in space.
The upcoming exhibit is a new spin on existing software called OnSight, which was the first step in Microsoft's partnership with NASA. It gave scientists the ability to navigate a holographic Mars. "OnSight makes the whole process of analyzing the data feel a lot more natural to me," said Abigail Fraeman, a Curiosity team member at JPL, in a post. "It really gives me the sense that I'm in the field when I put it on. Thinking about Martian geology is a lot more intuitive when I can stand in the scene and walk around the way I would if I were in the field." Now the space agency is opening up that immersive experience for visitors to experience a slice of space.
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