10th June 2016 Mike

How virtual, augmented reality helps NASA explore space

Before astronaut Scott Kelly ended his year in space, he accomplished an unprecedented technological feat. He called mission control using Skype and streamed his first-person perspective through an augmented reality headset that NASA sent to the International Space Station in December.

“We messed around with it for like two hours and immediately I sensed this is a capability we could use right now,” Kelly said during a news conference in March.

The Microsoft HoloLens that Kelly used is just one tool being tinkered with at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in La CaƱada Flintridge that might change space exploration. JPL’s Ops Lab, a team of roughly a dozen, is experimenting with virtual and augmented reality technologies to allow NASA to take direct control of its robotic explorers, to enable humans to see distant worlds with their own eyes and to teach astronauts how to perform complex tasks on the fly.

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(Source: San Jose Mercury News)

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