NASA to Release Mars Exploration VR Experience

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NASA, Fusion, and MIT's Space Systems Laboratory are teaming up for The Mars 2030 Experience, a project that will allow people to virtually visit the red planet about 15 years before real exploration of it becomes possible.

The virtual reality project will debut at South by Southwest in March 2016.

"We’ve been taking enormous care to provide the most realistic Martian environment possible, using real topographic data and accurate color reference,” says Justin Sonnekalb of Irrational Games, who has been working on the project. “Most images from Mars are either raw data that hasn’t been color-corrected to match human eyesight, or has been tuned to reflect Earth’s lighting conditions because it both affords greater visual contrast and appears more natural. There’s something inherently cool about the authenticity of that, particularly with the additional immersion afforded by VR.”