We’ve been privy to some amazing views courtesy of astronauts at the International Space Station, but what if the everyday person could experience those views like an astronaut?
That’s the goal of this San Francisco startup. SpaceVR wants to give everyone on Earth the opportunity to see the universe like an astronaut — with the help of virtual reality.
Via a Kickstarter campaign, SpaceVR has plans to send a 360-degree camera to ISS to collect images that everyone with a virtual reality headset can enjoy. Astronauts call it the “overview effect,” and as they show in the above video, it is spectacular. They write on Kickstarter:
Only 536 people have ever been to space; at SpaceVR we ask, what about the other 7 billion? Our vision is to bring the Overview Effect to everyone by allowing people to truly experience space and to explore our universe through the magic of virtual reality.
How will they make this happen? SpaceVR has developed a 360-degree camera, the Overview One, and made arrangements for it to sit on ISS (its parts 3D-printed by Made in Space) and capture the shots to send back.
SpaceVR launched the Kickstarter to cover launch costs and the first year of operation in space. For $10, you get the first image taken by SpaceVR in a poster, but $75 includes neat swag plus a three months’ subscription to the views.
To date, they have raised about $2,400 of their $500,000 final goal with 29 days to go.
ISS is just the first step. SpaceVR’s long-term development plans include sending VR cameras to the moon by 2017, putting one on an asteroid by 2022, and landing on Mars as soon as 2026.