VR Spaceship

VR Spaceship

VR Spaceship is an example of the kinds of immersive experiences that make VR more than just gaming. It offers a trip to the ISS as well as the ability to bend planets to your will.

It took two years to film but this absorbing experience of life aboard the ISS is a must-see. It’s available for the tethered Rift and Meta headset.

Space Explorers: The ISS Experience

A must-have for any Oculus Quest owner, Space Explorers: The ISS Experience offers an up-close look at life aboard the International Space Station. Featuring actual astronauts as cast, crew, and narrators, the two-year-long documentary series follows the crew as they grow and harvest plants in space, conduct groundbreaking scientific experiments, and more. While the experience is largely non-interactive (and limited to just viewing videos, rather than participating in any activities) it’s still a riveting, informative ride.

One of the most awe-inspiring VR experiences available, the Emmy-nominated Mission: ISS gives you the chance to join an astronaut on a real space mission. The true-to-life simulation uses archival video clips to allow you to witness firsthand what it’s like to dock a spacecraft, make a spacewalk, and perform other mission-critical tasks.

Another non-game, but highly interactive experience, the Smithsonian’s Sketchfab is a 3D model repository that can be accessed through headset browsers. It features a huge collection of scanned objects, including the Apollo 11 command module and space shuttle Discovery, as well as the Jezero crater on Mars and ice mountains on Pluto. The app also offers several experiences that let you stand in the rocket’s shadow for a chest-rumbling view of a launch, or fulfill the role of an astronaut inside an Orion spacecraft during its prelaunch activities.

Apollo 11 VR

Climb aboard the massive Saturn V rocket and blast off on an adventure to witness humankind’s first inspiring steps on the Moon in this incredible VR documentary/simulation. From JFK’s speech before the launch to the crew’s triumphant return to Earth, this amazing VR experience is a truly remarkable journey through history.

Using the immense repository of publicly available NASA data, Waterford, Ireland-based Immersive VR Education has created an immersive virtual reality experience that recreates every step of Apollo 11’s historic mission. From a 1st person interactive rocket launch to the iconic lunar landing, and even a fiery re-entry into Earth’s atmosphere.

This is a cinematic VR experience designed to connect with its players on an emotional level. Therefore, it doesn’t stop to explain the physics of what is happening or provide formulas. But it does so VR Spaceship in a way that makes it impossible for users to not be awed and inspired by this extraordinary event.

Originally released in 2016, the app was remade in 2018 with HD graphics, higher res textures, new animation, revamped audio and Windows MR support. The result is a stunningly realistic, and awe-inspiring experience that will leave you with a profound respect for the men and women who worked on the Apollo program during NASA’s golden era. This is a must-have for anyone with a VR headset.

SpaceEngine

Initially developed for medical, military and space training purposes, virtual reality (VR) has now found its way into the home. An estimated 30 million augmented and VR headsets are sold yearly worldwide. This allows anyone with a VR-compatible device to take in an immersive world that’s otherwise unattainable.

SpaceEngine is a vast, interactive universe simulator for the best VR headsets. It shows the universe at full scale, allowing you to explore the planets of our Solar System or choose a distant galaxy to see its billions of stars and nebulas.

The app includes several experiences, including standing in the rocket’s shadow for a chest-rumbling view of a launch and fulfilling the role of an astronaut inside an Orion spacecraft. It also lets you look around the Jezero crater on Mars, ice mountains on Pluto, and more. Some user-uploaded models on Sketchfab may look cheesy, but the Smithsonian’s digitized collection and France’s Laboratoire de Planetologie et Geodynamique have posted many moonscapes and Mars surface images to explore.

If you prefer something more interactive, try Space Pirate Trainer. In this game, you play a spaceship pilot who has to battle aliens in zero-gravity environments. You must navigate the controls of a large spaceship to avoid collisions with enemy ships while destroying them with laser weapons. It is a lot of fun and requires both agility and logical thinking.

Mission: ISS

The International Space Station is one of the most astounding feats of human engineering. Emmy-nominated virtual reality experience for the Meta and Rift S, Mission: ISS lets you explore its confines. The game uses real astronauts to guide you through archival footage of their day-to-day activities in zero gravity, while the developer’s attention to detail is impressive—you can open up labeled boxes of astronaut food, flip switches, and even gently bat floating items around.

In this sandbox-style experience, you can explore the Zarya Control Module and Unity Node 1 modules of the VR Motorcycle ISS. You can also take a few simulated spacewalks, dock a cargo capsule and complete other tasks—all of which is incredibly cool.

It’s important to note, though, that this is more of a passive VR experience than an interactive game. There are plenty of STEM educational opportunities to be had here, however: point at any object on the ISS and you can load up an informative pop-up that tells you its function, or sometimes a short video clip of a real astronaut discussing their experiences.

If you’re more into interactivity, try Sketchfab, a 3D model repository that allows you to point at any object and see it in high-resolution 3D. It’s like flickr for headsets, and its collection includes everything from banana bread to the Sistine Chapel.

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