NASA is about to join the league of major industries that are harnessing the potential of the metaverse. The space agency is looking for virtual reality simulations of Mars exploration, Gamerant reported.
Interest in the colonization of Mars has intensified in recent years. Not only is SpaceX becoming more confident about landing people on Mars, but NASA is also working to acclimate astronauts to staying on the Red Planet. Last year, we reported on how NASA wanted people to stay in Martian habitats created on Earth to learn more about the impact of extended stays in these extraterrestrial environments. Since nearly all of the simulations can’t be done in real life, the space agency is turning to the next best thing, the Metaverse.
XR Developers Wanted to Create Mars Experiences
According to Gamerant’s report, NASA has created five categories of Mars simulations, namely, “Set Up Camp”, “Scientific Research”, “Maintenance”, “Exploration”, and “Blow Our Minds” for these environments. As its name suggests, the latter gives free rein to creativity and can be used to arise the most bizarre or incredibly imaginative scenarios.
Submissions must be made within 80 days, and there are up to four prizes for each category. Yes, this challenge is indeed open to everyone, and you can be a company or an individual and still participate. This is exactly why HeroX, a crowdsourcing platform, tweeted it.
Just Launched: Create Mars Exploration VR Simulations to Inform @NASA technologies and informatics. This #crowdsourcing The challenge will award $70,000 in prizes to the top entries in 5 storyline categories. Don’t miss! https://t.co/MpNIsMbDH1 pic.twitter.com/IANihyIwvr
—HeroX (@iamherox) May 5, 2022
Too much to do, too little time?
In case you’re wondering if there’s so much to do in so little time, you actually don’t have to do it all from scratch. Using Unreal Engine 5, developers will aim to create their experiences for use inside NASA’s Mars XR Operation Support System. This environment already has a world with Martian terrain, realistic weather, day/night cycles, Martian gravity, and other goodies like space suits and rovers.
So your unique experience can be built on this existing platform, allowing you to focus on the experience and not worry about the details of it. Gamerant reported that more than 150 teams from around the world have already taken part in this challenge.
This could be your chance to rise to fame and contribute to the next stage of human space exploration, colonizing Mars if you want too.