This summer, guests at the Delaware North-operated Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex in Florida can have an out-of-this-world experience – a virtual trip to Mars.
Officials from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and Microsoft on March 30 announced Destination: Mars, a guided tour of an area of Mars made possible with the Microsoft HoloLens mixed reality headset. The “mixed reality” experience merges virtual elements with the user’s actual environment – creating a world in which real and virtual objects interact.
Guests will have the opportunity to “visit” several sites on Mars, reconstructed using real imagery from NASA’s Curiosity Mars Rover.
Apollo 11 astronaut Buzz Aldrin will guide guests on their journey as a hologram on the surface of Mars. Curiosity Mars rover driver Erisa Hines will also appear as a holographical, leading guests to places on Mars where scientists have made exciting discoveries and explaining what we have learned about the planet.
Destination: Mars will use an adaptation of OnSight, a Mars rover mission operations tool co-developed by Microsoft and NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory for a pilot group of scientists supporting the operation of the Curiosity Mars rover.
The experience will be located in the 409 Building, east of the Milky Way and Astronaut Encounter Theater, and will open this summer, exclusively at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex. Destination: Mars will have daily limited availability. A preview of Destination: Mars is featured in a video that can be found here.