To train pilots, flight simulators are used, and to prepare astronauts on another planet, deserts and icy areas can be used, as has already been done on some occasions.
Now tests with Virtual reality will begin, and it is NASA itself who will do it.
Virtual reality simulations of exploring Mars will be scheduled to help astronauts become more acclimated to staying on the planet. They want to look at what the impact of long stays in the Martian environment will be, and they think VR will help with that.
They comment on Gamerant that NASA will partner with Epic Games to create five categories of simulations:
– How to set up a camp.
– How to carry out certain scientific investigations.
– Maintenance tasks.
– Unexpected matters, where creativity will show bizarre and imaginative scenarios.
During the next 80 days the first demonstration will take place, and we will have prizes for each category, the contest being open to any individual. That is the reason for the tweet from HeroX, a crowdsourcing platform:
Just launched: create VR simulations of Mars exploration to inform @POT technologies and informatics. Este #crowdsourcing challenge will award $70K in prizes to the top entries across 5 scenario categories. Don’t miss out! https://t.co/MpNIsMbDH1 pic.twitter.com/IANihyIwvr
— HeroX (@Iamherox) May 5, 2022
There is already a NASA Mars XR Operations Support System, a realistic Martian terrain environment, with realistic weather, day/night cycles, Martian gravity and more, so you don’t have to start from scratch to create the contest environment .
Gamerant has reported that more than 150 teams from around the world have already signed up for this challenge.