Have you ever wondered how is NASA preparing its astronauts for deep space travel? Well it looks like video games is the answer to that question. NASA recently collaborated with Epic Games and developed a highly detailed simulation of what working in the International Space Station would be like. We should mention that the two companies are HTC’s virtual reality headsets in order to make this possible.
Astronaut VR Training
Obviously the astronauts are still required to go through extensive training on terra firma before being eligible to fly into space. The difference being that NASA is going to be able to simulate zero-G work environments way much easier than before. The way NASA was able to simulate zero-G environments before having VR technology was by using large pools filled with water.
The reason why NASA has chose Epic Games to be its partner is because this game company has developed the highly popular Unreal Engine. The latter is renowned as being one of the best game engines ever made and it is now being used in order to develop NASA’s extensive VR training tool. In regards to this, Matthew Noyes who is NASA’s senior software engineer stated the following: “We immerse the user in a fabricated 3D environment, and have them complete objectives under various constraints”.
International Space Station
The best thing about NASA’s virtual reality program is the fact that astronauts will memorize every meter of the ISS to the latest detail. This way, astronauts will feel even more at home when they finally arrive on the ISS. Matthew Noyes, the NASA engineer has also stated that using virtual reality technology also gives the astronauts in training a feel of presence.
We should also mention that NASA’s program can be used by more than one people at once. What this basically means is that astronauts who will be teaming up together for a mission can train at the same time without being required to stay in the same room. This will come in quite useful when the two astronauts are residents of different countries.