2017 will witness the launching of the Space VR’s first virtual reality (VR) camera satellite is to be launched into low Earth orbit. This will enable taking of never-seen-before imagery of the Earth from the low orbit satellites closest to the Earth. For those of us on Earth, this is a chance to see the planet like never before.
What is Space VR?
SpaceVR originally took off as a Kickstarter a year back in 2015. Their initial objective was to send a 12-camera rig to the ISS that would be capable of shooting 3D, 360-degree footage to the International Space Station but the funds require to fulfill the insight was $500,000 at that point. Due to a lack of funding, the plan was dropped within a month. The idea was revised and retooled to a more modest and achievable $100,000 funding requirement.
On April 2016, Space VR revealed it had received an investment of $1.25m and that they would invest this money in launching the first camera VR satellite called Overview 1 in low Earth orbit by summer of next year. Their plan involves integrating two cameras into a small cube satellite that will independently orbit the Earth making it the first satellite of its kind. The VR satellites will offer users an unprecedented view of space, and the planet Earth that until now has only been available to an only a number of people (Basically Astronauts).
SpaceVR is working in co-ordinance with NanoRacks, which runs a commercial laboratory on the ISS, to prepare the camera prior to its launch into low Earth orbit.
“We have a radio, we have an attitude control system, we have reaction wheels and gyroscopes that maintain stability, and we have flight controller software that tells the satellite what to do and when.”
– Ryan Holmes, CEO, SpaceVR
One of SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rockets will launch SpaceVR’s first VR camera satellite towards the International Space Station next year inside a Dragon capsule. You can learn more about SpaceVR, and sign up to pre-order a year’s worth of VR content (for only 35 bucks!) on their website.