With virtual reality, we could potentially do many things, including exploring distant places. VR headset has entered the mainstream market and it’s not only for early adopters. You can have so much fun using the virtual reality, including for visiting the space. If you seek a worthwhile space exploration experience, here are some content providers to try:
With Mission: ISS, you can have an enthralling experience. With the Oculus Touch, you may interact with the virtual station environment, such as picking up bags, grapping onto handrails and pushing off the station’s walls. The physics should feel quite real, although you have never been in any zero-gravity situation. Graphics are quite nice and it’s fun as you struggle against your own clumsiness. Animations have good details and it should be quite similar to the real thing. You can explore the whole station freely. This content is mostly for exploration purposes and it’s not for gaming. You have no mission to accomplish, except having fun exploring the space environment. Mission: ISS is available in Oculus Store and for Gear VR in reduced format.
Space Explorers: The ISS Experience
Actual astronauts often bring cameras to document their space journeys. During the space shuttle era, NASA used big IMAX cameras to capture footage. With Space Explorers: The ISS Experience you can help you to explore the content, although not a complete a 360-degree interactive experience. You are there to join the daily routine of ISS crews. There’s no script and you only float around them. You can eavesdrop their conversation, join them during false alarm situations and see concerns on the crews’ faces. This content is available for Oculus Rift and Quest.
Although it’s a rather low-key VR experience, it’s still quite enjoyable. You get a collection of simple VR films. Although it’s not an interactive experience, you could have an insight on how people explored the space. Spheres could blow us away with the vast expanse of the universe. As a pioneer in virtual reality filmmaking, the director Eliza McNitt takes us on an impressive tour to see the galaxies, stars and planets. Because the production value is quite high, you need to pay $9.99 for this VR content. You can have a visual sensation as float on the planet orbits and place yourself within the electromagnetic radiation. It feels like an inspiring and educational experience, as you listen to the whispered narration. Spheres is accessible for Oculus Rift and Quest.
Sketchfab allows you to explore the Mars in Gale Crater from Curiosity rover data. It’s not a real app, but 3D models that you can access through the VR headset. It’s an eye-opening experience, as you explore the surface of another planet in the solar system. In fact, the arid environment may feel somewhat Earth-like. This content is available on Oculus Quest, Oculus Rift and various VR headset, including Vive. For VR enthusiasts, Sketchfab may feel like a wonderland and you may want to explore it quite a few times.