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Astronaut Buzz Aldrin wants to take you to Mars… using VR

We’ve long been promised that space tourism is on the way, but with Space X’s rockets still not ready to carry passengers, it’s down to VR to make that dream a reality.

Sure, venturing into space with VR is nothing new, both the BBC and Samsung have each already launched their own VR-based space experiences, but now things are going one giant leap for mankind further.

That’s because astronaut Buzz Aldrin, the second man to step foot on the surface of the moon, has launched a new virtual reality movie detailing his plans to get man to Mars.

The film – titled Cycling Pathways to Mars – is almost 10 minutes long and sees a hologram of Aldrin narrate your way through a colonised camp on Mars.

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Buzz Aldrin Mars VR

Designed to show what an early trip to Mars might look like, the VR experience also acts as a platform on which the astronaut can detail his ideas on what’s needed to make a manned mission to Mars viable.

According to Aldrin, given the time and distance needed to be covered in order to reach the red planet, the moons of Earth and Mars should be utilised as pitstop points that would help make the exploration easier. Such a mission, covering more than 70 million miles, would take around 6 months each way.

There are already a number of plans on how to get to Mars, with NASA looking to send a manned mission at some point during the 2030s.

According to Aldrin, however, governments and private companies must all focus and collaborate on a single plan in order to get to Mars as quickly and efficiently as possible.

“You can’t afford to do them all because it’s using up the budget that we’ve got and we’re going nowhere,” he told the BBC of all the competing ideas.

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Buzz Aldrin Mars VR

The iconic astronaut claims that the first people to partake on such a mission will be pioneers of a new world, but such a mission would be extremely difficult.

“I thing we’re going to have pioneers, but they’re going to be very well prepared, and what troubles me is that they need to be motivated and they have to retain that motivation in a mind that changes. I think that’s one of the biggest concerns.

“I don’t think we should just go there and come back – we did that with Apollo.”

Aldrin’s VR Mars movie is available to download now via Steam for the HTC Vive and is listed as “coming soon” for Oculus Rift owners.

For those yet to splash the cash on a high-end new VR headset, a free 360-degree trailer video is available to view on YouTube.

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Will you be trying Aldrin’s VR experience? Let us know in the comments below.

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