Virtual Reality is taking the entire tech ecosytem by storm. In fact, such has been the surge in popularity for this rather nascent industry, that established tech giants are going after developing cameras to shoot that content. Whatever may be the case though, all of this is sure as hell fun for us. And ESA’s new virtual tour is a part of that VR fun we consumers can enjoy.
The European Space Agency (ESA) has recently added five new modules to its virtual tour website of the International Space Station (ISS) which was first launched in June this year. The website allowed you to use your mouse and guide yourself around the Columbus module, the ISS research pod deployed by the ESA in 2008.
Looking at pictures and videos, reading experiences and hearing tales about the man-made observation site in space is one thing. But imagine being able to control what you want to see, guide yourself through the monolithic structure thousands of kilometers in space and move around like you are actually present there, all this without going out of your bedro0m.
This is what the ESA wants us to experience.
While the initial tour was spectacular, it just covered one single module of the fifteen the space station is home to. There were a few others which went online eventually, but today, we suddenly had five modules spring out for you to discover all in one go.
All the modules of the ISS are now present on the ESA website for you to observe and guide yourself through with the exception of the Russian modules. The ESA says that these five Russian modules (Zarya, Zvezda, Pirs, Poisk and Rassvet) will also be online later this year.
The virtual tour is composed of various photographs taken by the Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti in June 2015, just before she left the space base, after spending 199 days aboard the ISS.
Features of the tour include panning and moving around the modules, zooming in or out to observe details of the equipments etc and there are even a few video clips here and there where Cristoforetti explains to us the parts of the station. You will also get popups and text boxes with data about the stuff you are looking at.
Take my word, and go for it. The experience will surely be out of this world.