NASA have released two new apps that allows users to take selfies in space and even visit a star system that has seven Earth-size exoplanets in virtual reality (VR). The release of the apps mark and celebrate the 15th anniversary of the launch of NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope which has images features in both of the new apps.
The NASA Selfies app gives users the opportunity to take photos within a virtual spacesuit in front of some of the most picturesque locations that space has to offer. This includes the center of the Milky Way galaxy and the Orion Nebula, a famous start-birth region located around 1,350 light-years from Earth.
“The app also provides information about the science behind these stunning images. There are currently 30 eye-catching images to choose from, all taken by Spitzer,” Officials from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory said in a statement about the app, speaking to space.com: “More images from the agency’s other science and human spaceflight missions will be added in the future.”
The other app that NASA have released is the NASA Exoplanet Excursions VR that shows off TRAPPIST-1, where seven Earth-size planets were confirmed in 2017. Though the details on the state of the planets and how habitable they may be remains unclear, this does not stop the excitement of being able to visit them within VR.
“Spitzer played a major role in detecting these planets and providing information that has helped scientists learn about the planets’ likely compositions,” The NASA officials said: “The TRAPPIST-1 system is too far away for telescopes to directly observe these planets, but this VR experience features artists’ impressions of what the planets might look like. These impressions are based on data from Spitzer and other telescopes that have studied the TRAPPIST-1 system.”
The NASA Selfies app is available to download now on both iOS and Android devices giving users a chance to put themselves in the role of an Astronaut. The NASA Exoplanet Excursions VR application is available to download via the titles website for both Oculus Rift and HTC Vive. A 360-degree YouTube video is also available for people to enjoy on a mobile device or their desktop, and can be found below.
For more on all of NASA’s VR ventures in the future, keep reading VRFocus.