How gaming tech is making for better interplanetary exploration

By October 4, 2013Newswires

Head-mounted displays and motion tracking can put you on the surface of Mars.

By Kyle Orland

“My dream in this area is that, someday, when we put human boots on the surface of Mars, I want there to be millions of people in attendance for that event,” Jeff Norris, Mission Operations Innovations lead at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory told Ars in a recent interview. “I want them not just sitting in their living room watching a television screen; I want them standing on Mars in their own holodecks right there beside the astronauts.”

That might seem like a pretty ambitious goal, even given how much time we have until a manned mission to the red planet is likely to happen. Still, it seems much more realistic when you see the fully navigable, 3D virtual reality version of Mars that Norris and other JPL researchers have already created using funding from NASA’s Game Changing Development program and some technology originally designed for more realistic gaming.

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