NASA and Oculus have launched their collaborative project ‘Mission: ISS’ for the Oculus Rift for free and it’s offers a detailed, visually sumptuous virtual reality trip to space that most of us would otherwise never experience.

Virtual Reality’s transportative powers being used to live out experiences most of us will never have in real life is rarely most effective than in the realm of space travel. Given the tiny fraction of Earth’s inhabitants that have (around 500 to date) or ever will venture beyond the planet’s gravitational field, VR can give as what life is like for those brave enough to travel beyond it.

Mission: ISS is the latest VR experience to try to convey what it feels to be an astronaut as the collaborative project between Oculus and NASA attempts to recreate life onboard the International Space Station (ISS) high above Earth’s atmosphere.

According to a blog post from Oculus, the new experience, built for the Rift and Touch motion controllers, uses space station models direct from NASA themselves, while information for enhancing the authenticity of the project were gleaned from conversations with “multiple astronauts and the VR Laboratory at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston.”

This is no Sci-fi action extravaganza though, as the most outrageous tasks you’ll get to fulfil on your virtual extra-terrestrial mission is docking cargo capsules and station maintenance. You do however get to venture beyond ISS itself to experience spacewalks however.

mission-iss-216685676_262931674161671_3869934746817527808_nMagnopus are the developers behind Mission:ISS and the team is born from experience in Hollywood visual effects and are now focused on the realms of interactive entertainment.

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Mission: ISS is available now on Oculus Home for the Rift and Touch (and I’m sure for HTC Vive via Revive either now or soon) for free. It’s well worth checking out even if you posses just a passing interest in the subject matter.

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Based in the UK, Paul has been immersed in interactive entertainment for the best part of 27 years and has followed advances in gaming with a passionate fervour. His obsession with graphical fidelity over the years has had him branded a ‘graphics whore’ (which he views as the highest compliment) more than once and he holds a particular candle for the dream of the ultimate immersive gaming experience. Having followed and been disappointed by the original VR explosion of the 90s, he then founded to follow the new and exciting prospect of the rebirth of VR in products like the Oculus Rift. Paul joined forces with Ben to help build the new Road to VR in preparation for what he sees as VR’s coming of age over the next few years.
  • dextrovix

    Thanks for letting people know about this.

    When I went to install it in Oculus Home it was hidden 17 pages in under the Touch section- I wish it was easier to search for apps rather than manually scrolling, now that Home has been out for a year…

    I’ve been hoping an ISS recreated would be produced since I saw Chris Hadfield (a great astronaut IMO for trying to connect with the rest of us) producing lots of footage for the public to see. I just hope that this is an accurate recreation and that both the USA and Russian segments are accessible.

    • yexi

      Oculus want a controlled AppStore like on IOS… it allows to have a better front page, but that mean that it’s (like on smartphone) very difficult to be popular if you don’t invest a lot in advertising.

      In short: good luck indies with this system.

      • PrymeFactor

        Isn’t Steam also a controlled Store? Why single out Oculus Home?

      • CURTROCK

        If you activate VOICE search, and say the name off the app it takes you right to it. Couldnt be any easier.

    • TheVillasurfer

      Hi. You can search on the Oculus Store but you need to do it via your pc, not in VR.

      There’s a magnifying glass on the top-right of the Oculus store (on your pc). Just click on it and start typing the name of your app.

      • dextrovix

        Ah, I didn’t realise because I tend to minimise the Oculus Home desktop app, so thank you for letting me know. Although I have to say, considering Oculus are promoting VR I would have expected them to implement a way of doing this in VR too.

        • TheVillasurfer

          Yeah it’s a bit odd. Took me a while to find the search functionality

  • TheVillasurfer

    I was impressed by this app. Really detailed and graphically looks great. The sound adds a lot to the immersion. Space walks a lot of fun. Won’t spend hours and hours in it but it’s brilliant in many ways.

  • Walextheone

    Such an amazing experince

  • yag

    The best edutainment app about the conquest of space, IMO.
    Don’t forget to go into the settings and change quality to “high” (if you have a decent GPU) and check “Two handed rotation” (if you have a solid stomach).
    Now I dream of a real simulation (not as hard and complex as the real thing, of course) with a lot of interactivity and various missions (arriving via Soyuz, scientific experiences inside the station, various use of the robotic arms, various EVA missions, re-entry procedure at the end of the mission…).