Television

Experience space with BBC's new VR experience

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MUMBAI: The BBC is giving you a chance fly. Home – A VR Spacewalk is an interactive virtual reality (VR) experience launched today for the HTC Vive and the Oculus Rift, and is available to download for free via the Steam Store and the Oculus Store.

Inspired by the NASA training programs used by British astronaut Tim Peake, Home – A VR Spacewalk enables would-be astronauts to embark on a spacewalk 250 miles above the Earth’s surface, something only 217 people have ever done in reality. They are tasked with making a repair on the outside of the International Space Station (ISS), before being confronted with a terrifying emergency situation.

Peake said: “Exploring space is something that motivates a lot of young people to enter careers in science and technology. This is a really exciting time because the new generation will have unprecedented opportunities to really fly into space. The HomeVirtual Reality experience brings that opportunity even closer, in a very authentic and accessible way.”

To mark the launch, a series of 360-degree films have been produced using footage from the experience. Viewers are able to look around as they float above the earth, while astronauts Dr Helen Patricia Sharman, Luca Parmitano and Ron Garan recount their real-life experiences of visiting space.

BBC Studios and director of Home– A VR Spacewalk head of interactive and virtual reality Tom Burton said, “Home represents the very best of the BBC, bringing brilliant creative together with cutting edge technologies to create an experience you wouldn’t get anywhere else. Making this experience available to those who have the devices will give people a taste of what it must be like to visit the ISS and walk in space for real.”

Zillah Watson, head of content commissioning for the BBC’s recently launched VR Hub, says, “Home is an extraordinary piece of content that enables viewers to get as close an experience as possible to what it must really be like to visit space. In the future, we’ll be looking to use the lessons we’ve learned in making fantastic pieces of content like this to develop even more impressive, immersive and inspiring experiences for audiences.”

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