Explore space from the comfort of your couch with SpaceVR, a new Kickstarter project sending “virtual reality cameras to space so anyone can explore the universe.” The privilege of space travel is one that has only been experienced by 536 humans, quite literally, a negligible percentage of the world’s population of 7 billion. But now, SpaceVR is hoping that even if we can’t make it above the stratosphere, we’ll be given a somewhat comparable experience through the magic of VR. As per their Kickstarter campaign, “SpaceVR is creating this experience for outer space by collecting actual footage from the space station (and beyond) with our camera, the Overview One,” and if you fund their efforts, you can help “bring space exploration within reach of everyone.”
The ultimate goal, SpaceVR says, is to “live-stream content from space to the VR headset of your choice.” Using their specially developed, 3D 360-degree camera, known as the Overview One, footage from miles above the Earth’s surface will be brought directly to your living room. Even the Overview One has components of outer space, as the camera combines “existing camera components from Earth with parts that will be 3D printed in space by our partner Made in Space. It will be assembled on the International Space Station (ISS).”
If all goes according to plan, the camera will be assembled and launched by an astronaut on the ISS by late 2015, which will allow SpaceVR to start collecting photographs and video that will then be relayed back to backers on Earth. “We will then downlink this footage and turn it into a virtual reality experience that our backers can experience using any VR device,” the company claims, “Including the HTC Vive due out in the fall, the Oculus Rift out in early 2016, or even Google Cardboard.”
But that’s not all SpaceVR wants to do. The ambitious company also plans on sending a VR camera to the moon in 2017, landing a VR camera on an asteroid in 2022, launching a remote controllable cub-sat VR camera into orbit (so you can both control and “see” through a satellite), and of course, heading over to Mars “as soon as 2026.”
It may seem like a lot of talk, but given the advances the company has already made, it may just be time for space to come down to Earth. And all of it can be yours through a Kickstarter donation.