Microsoft and NASA unveiled a mixed reality Mars exhibition titled “Destination Mars” that will allow the curious public to explore the Red Planet through HoloLens and the help of specialized tour guides. The exhibit is set to open this summer at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex in Florida. Viewers will get the chance to check out real life sites on Mars where scientists of the world made several important discoveries, with the imagery viewers see taken by the Curiosity Rover that landed on Mars back in 2012. Dr. Buzz Aldrin, the second man to set foot on the moon, will also be on hand guided by Curiosity Mars Rover driver Erisa Hines.
According to a recent press release from NASA, while scientists had to use regular computers to examine imagery from Mars, this is the chance to take advantage of HoloLens and VR technology. “OnSight gives our rover scientists the ability to walk around and explore Mars right from their offices,” said Dave Lavery, program executive for Solar System Exploration at NASA Headquarters. “It fundamentally changes our perception of Mars, and how we understand the Mars environment surrounding the rover.”
The software Destination Mars will make use of is called OneSight, and was jointly developed by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) and Microsoft. NASA is using OnSight for robotic missions top Mars, so while technology is not solely designed for image exploration via the use of AR and VR, the use of this technology will create new paradigms with which to experience these far off lands.