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SpaceVR uses virtual reality to make astronauts of us all


The final frontier

Most of us will never go to space. But now, thanks to virtual reality, we can all enjoy the wonders of the universe.

SpaceVR is a program designed to let us average Joes experience the thrills and sights of travelling to space, but all from the comfort of our front rooms. In order to do so, it's sending a virtual-reality camera to the Cupola module, the observation deck of the International Space Station. This will capture immersive video that we can playback on our VR headsets. It'll be just like being there.

The hope is that as more people see our planet from outer space, increasing numbers will experience what's known as "the overview effect". This "inspires a completely new perspective," the people behind SpaceVR write. "You begin to see a world without borders, the conflicts that divide people become irrelevant, and the need to come together as a civilisation to protect this 'pale blue dot' becomes both obvious and imperative."

To date, only 536 people have been to outer space. SpaceVR hopes to bring this moment of revelation to the rest of us.

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The team is made up of NASA scientists, astronauts, space engineers, hackers, geologists, space pioneers and advisors. It's previously brought Wi-Fi to the International Space Station, captured the first image ever from inside Jupiter, and developed new life-support technology for manned space missions using liquid nitrogen.

Pledge $26, and you'll receive access to 360-degree space footage beamed direct from the ISS for three months. At time of writing, the project has raised just over $36,000 of a $500,000 target, with 22 days to go. Let's hope it gets there.

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