Faced with the difficulty of getting from Earth to Mars NASA is bringing Mars to Earth in the form of a virtual reality experience designed to communicate what life on the Red Planet might be like without the need to head into outer space.
Mars 2030 has been developed the US space agency in conjunction with FUSION Media and MIT’s Space Systems Laboratory to create an accurate physics based simulation of the alien world.
More than just a fun experience the virtual landscape can be used as a training environment for mission planners preparing for a real-life mission to Earth’s neighbour within the next two decades, allowing astronauts to acclimatise to their future home.
Jason Crusan, director of NASA’s advanced exploration systems division, said: “Beyond practical uses for training, virtual reality offers us a compelling method to share the work we’ve been doing to design sustainable human missions and to inspire the next generation of pioneers in space.
“We’re grateful for the opportunity to bring FUSION’s virtual experience as close to reality as we know it based on years of Mars surface architecture studies.”
Mars 20030 is being made available free of charge on Oculus Rift, Google Cardboard, and Samsung Gear VR.