Program Update 4 – MDRS Scanning Mission

Greetings CrowdExplorers,

Our team will be travelling out to MDRS next week to begin the photogrammetry scans of the facilities (inside and out) and the one square mile of terrain, using drones and high-resolution cameras.  We will be documenting everything we do and taking video for a short documentary film that will come out this summer.  We will also soon be featured in the Red Bull blog.  In the past month, we were already featured by, Mars Daily, Spaceflight Insider, and Mondo 2000. In particular, the Mondo 2000 piece was very in-depth on the project, and we are hoping the Red Bull article will be similar.

We recently met with Dr. Greg Chamitoff, a former astronaut and professor of engineering at Texas A&M. He has a group of 50+ students that have been working for the last two years on SpaceCRAFT VR, which is a project to create a VR environment that has real space physics and science models coded into the platform.  We committed to work together long-term, and in the immediate timeframe, our MDRS terrain models and photogrammetry/3-D models will make an appearance in SpaceCRAFT VR.  In addition, Dr. Chamitoff and members of his team will be joining our project as Core Developers, and working closely with us to make MarsVR Phase 1 (and beyond) a reality.

We have other exciting partnerships that we have not yet announced, including one which we hope will upgrade the suits used at MDRS to include VR-ready cameras to enable future real-time coordination between crewmembers at MDRS and MarsVR participants, enabling our vision of astronauts and people back on Earth using VR to work together to explore Mars.

Our Preorder Store is now open – if you or your friends and colleagues missed the Kickstarter, you can visit the store to purchase any of the limited edition rewards, such as one of our three embroidered patch designs, the Metal Medallion (which are super popular so far — everybody who has seen them physically has been very impressed!) or any of our digital rewards.

Every little bit helps as we make our dreams using VR to support the human exploration of Mars a reality.

I’ll see you on Mars (in VR!)

-James Burk
Program Manager, MarsVR