According to astronauts, it is an experience so profound that it permanently changes the way one thinks of the world and humanity.
It’s no wonder then that a number of companies are vying to build rockets for taking space tourists on the trip of a lifetime. But even the cheapest tickets cost hundreds of thousands of pounds; hence, most of us will be denied this one-of-a-kind experience.
Now two UK-based companies have come together to offer the experience to virtually anyone. And the key word is virtual.
Immersive content studio Rewind and the space industry experts at In-Space Missions have launched SpaceTime Enterprises. They plan to launch multiple satellites that will broadcast real-time immersive video of the entire Earth. Hence, to plug into this view, one only needs a set of virtual reality goggles.
“We want it to become commonplace to ‘be’ in space because by being in space you actually connect with the planet,” said Doug Liddle, the CEO of In-Space Missions.
The first satellite is set to be launched in September 2019. It will carry cameras that can deliver images of the entire Earth at the same resolution that your eyes could see from up there. The first views when you strap on the VR goggles will be akin to looking out the window of the International Space Station, seeing what the satellite is currently flying over.
“In three to five years, we hope to offer views of anywhere on Earth in real time,” said Matt Vernon-Clinch of Rewind.
It means that under this situation, users will no longer be tethered to the satellites; instead, they will be able to fly around Earth and zoom in on areas of interest. This means the data could also be used for business and scientific applications.