With the news officially out, we are happy to confirm that National Geographic and Orbital ATK have indeed launched a Vuze VR camera into space, allowing us to do some virtual reality space exploration with the camera. The camera was launched from earth on Sunday, aboard the Cygnus spacecraft, headed for the International Space Station (ISS). For the people on the ground at the launchpad and for the thousands watching the launch live online, this was just another (albeit exciting!) launch. For the Humaneyes team this was super thrilling, exciting and scary at the same time, as we watched our “baby” take off into space on board a jet fuel laden rocket.
Space VR travel for the earthbound spirits!
Working with National Geographic, the Humaneyes Technologies team prepared the Vuze VR camera for its travel to the ISS aboard the Cygnus cargo spacecraft.
With the preparations done, we have been waiting for the launch. The Cygnus cargo craft was to carry on board more than 7,700 pounds (3,500 kg) of cargo, including a variety of science experiments, technology demonstrations, Holiday gifts from the astronauts’ families, the ingredients for their Thanksgiving dinner… and one little camera for a virtual reality space travel.
Deep Space VR for posterity
While the Vuze VR camera is not really going into deep space (the ISS is actually in low earth orbit, circling the earth at an altitude of 408 km), it will be used by Expedition 53 astronaut Paolo Nespoli (@astro_paolo) of the European Space Agency, to capture space VR footage for a new National Geographic series called “one strange rock”. Nespoli will use the Vuze camera to create VR experiences of life on board the space station, allowing everyone here on earth to join in the action and experience what it’s like to be in space, through cinematic 360 VR.
Jim Malcolm, General Manager North America of Humaneyes, sums it up: “Nothing like getting geeked out about a camera in space; I still remember seeing the first Hasselblad film cameras in a museum after their trip to the moon. I look forward to seeing the Vuze VR Camera in a museum too.”