A Trip To Space At $67 Only - University of Surrey & Oculus Rift

Now for a space trip, you don't need to be in the Forbes' 'Richest People On Planet' list. Courtesy of University of Surrey and the Oculus Rift: The head mounted virtual reality set, you can now 'travel' into space by spending just $67 (INR 4092). This new project, called the "Virtual Ride To Space" will use latest technology to bring to the masses which otherwise only 'space tourists' could have experienced. The project budgeted at £30,000 ($50,244) will be funded through Kickstarter, the same platform which funded Oculus Rift.

Virtual Ride To Space will use a specially designed spacecraft to deliver an immersive 3D experience. A weather balloon will carry a load of 24 GoPro Hero 3 HD cameras that will capture panoramic footage of the surroundings as they are carried up to a height of 20 Km from the surface.


Using this footage,a special software will stitch these shots together to give the user an ultimate 3D experience. Until the writing of this article £ 3,345 were pledged, as per the project's #-Link-Snipped-# page. The grand launch is expected by July 2014 and the whole process for the 3D footage for Oculus VR set could be started from September 2014 onwards. The post processing would include mapping of the geographical co-ordinates onto virtual environment and the error correction in the video due to the swinging position of the balloon amongst others.

Cutaway View of the Payload​

For those who do not have Oculus Rift, the project team plans to release a PC version and a smartphone version. For the smartphone version, the view would be controlled by the 3D orientation of the phone and for the PC version, the control would be similar to that of a FPS game.

Dr. Aaron Knoll, lead researcher at the University of Surrey, quoted the stats saying that only 530 people have ever travelled to space and for the rest 99.999992% of the population, space tourism was only a distant dream and this project aims to fulfil this, even though just virtually.

(Source: #-Link-Snipped-#| #-Link-Snipped-#)


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