Realistic space travel in VR
A collaboration between an astronaut, a museum and a VR company
The Danish Technical Museum managed to secure the actual Russian Soyuz capsule, that Danish Astronaut Andreas Mogensen travelled in as the centrepiece of a larger exhibition about Space and space exploration. The museum wanted their visitors to have a personal feel for what it was like to travel from the International Space Station and back to Earth. The museum partnered with Virsabi to create a unique Virtual Reality experience for the exhibition: JOURNEY HOME.
Experience space flight in VR on a journey home to Earth
The JOURNEY HOME is a 5 minutes virtual reality journey simulating in detail, the journey the Danish astronaut Andreas Mogensen experienced in traveling from the silent zero G environment through the dramatic re-entry through the Earth’s atmosphere to the final touch down, safely back on our home planet.
The experience is guided by Andreas Mogensen himself both in his own words and as a fellow astronaut sitting next to the observer through the journey. Mogensen was brought into the experience with a blend of motion capture, facial 3D scanning and voice recording in order to give the observer a lifelike experience and to add an authentic touch to the overall virtual reality journey.
Soyuz space capsule accurately recreated in VR for full immersion
The interior of the Soyuz capsule was painstakingly recreated in 3D using both photo and video reference material provided by the Danish Technical museum but also with direct access to the actual capsule itself making the interior an almost 1:1 experience hardly distinguishable from the real capsule.
The attention to detail is apparent throughout the experience both in the sequence of events from the plasma friction effects going through the Earth’s atmosphere to the dramatic opening of the parachute sending the capsule into a tumble and the final shock of the landing rockets being fired off 70 cm above the ground. The immersive spatial audio of the thrusters being operated in Zero-G, the breathing effects inside the closed helmet and the wind rushing past the capsule as it hurdles towards landing gives the experience an uncanny realistic feel that, together with the effects of the haptic feedback chair, creates an experience that is felt and not soon forgotten.
- Out of 7 hours opening Tuesday – Sunday a total of 6 hours total running on both stations.
- Average number of experiences a day: 88
- Average number of visitors per day watching the entire experience: 73
- Total runs for a period of 50 days: 3496
- Percentage of people safely returned to Earth: 100%