Global: NASA pushes VR experiences at space centre

NASA's Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex in Florida is hosting its first-ever virtual reality experiences, aimed at attracting a younger audience and increasing excitement around space.

VR experience at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex
VR experience at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex

The three experiences at NASA's Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex in Florida take visitors to restricted access areas, bring artifacts to life and allows them to experience space from an astronaut's point of view. The experiences feature a virtual space walk around the International Space Station, as only astronauts have seen and learning facts and figures, an educational tour of the solar system called 'Space Dreams', and a virtual tour of the Space Center Visitor Complex itself, including a ride on the moon and the chance to sit in the commander seat of the Mercury-Atlas 8, Gemini 9 and Apollo 14 spacecrafts. Users can see every switch, gauge and lever as only astronauts have seen before.

Each experience, developed by BrandVR, is contained within an individual smartphone app that works in conjunction with custom-branded NASA VR headsets, dubbed 'Space Visors,' which can be bought online or onsite at the gift shop at the complex. 

Therrin Protze, chief operating officer at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, said: "The immersive atmosphere is really something we’re striving for here at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex. We want our guests to feel space, not just come and see it. Virtual reality makes that experience come alive."

In November, Kennedy Space Center opened an immersive exhibit introducing the pioneers who made space exploration possible. Facebook is touring the US this month to showcase the power of virtual reality (VR), giving consumers the opportunity to try out Samsung Gear VR.

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