According to the SpaceX founder Elon Musk, the company’s manned mission to the moon will be streamed in VR. Though the year 2023 is some time ahead, Space X is giving VR companies a great reason to buckle up and come out with the VR technology to support the flight. It looks like VR space trips are not that far distant.
The BFR spaceship destined to take off in 5 years’ time might take than a few passengers for its orbital ride. As revealed in a twitter announcement from Space X founder Elon Musk, the ‘Moon missions will be streamlined in high def VR’. We are still very much in the dark as not many details are out there. But the very notion of cruising the orbit in VR, and the fact that Musk hints towards the possibility, is enough to tickle imaginations. Given the pace that Virtual Reality tech is advancing, five years seem reasonable enough for spectacular VR space flight endeavor.
The first passenger to orbit the Moon is already known. Yusaku Maezawa, a Japanese billionaire and founder of e-commerce site Zozo, revealed that he bought all the seats for a week-long trip to the Moon and back. The seats will be reserved for a pool of artists, musicians, writers, and rest of the humanities. His idea is to take 6-8 creatives with him and turn the whole project into a unique work of art. ‘I want to share these experiences with as many people as possible’, says Maezawa. ‘That is why I chose to go to the Moon with artists!’ he explains.
Every work of art needs an appreciative audience. And indeed, the aforementioned VR space travel support is a way to democratize the spectacular SpaceX experience. Despite the pompous announcements though, the VR technology is still some time away from fulfilling the VR space dream. The BFR Moon mission plans have fixed the date for 2023, but the truth is far more flexible. By Musk’s own admission, 2023 is perhaps a little hopeful. But from a VR tech development standpoint, we shouldn’t mind if the SpaceX project took a wee more time.
If VR’s readiness is uncertain, Musk assures that Starlink should be ready by the craft’s take-off time. Starlink is yet another one of SpaceX revolutionary projects. The idea behind it is to build micro-satellites that would serve as global broadband service to deliver low-cost Internet. This year already saw the lunch of two prototype satellites. In the SpaceX project however, Starlink will allow contact with the craft even over Moon’s far side blind spot.
As for the VR space option though, we mustn’t hold our breath just yet. ‘It’ll feel like you’re there in real-time minus a few seconds for speed of light’, Musk’s twitter reads. Tantalizing words, one must admit. But as the recent Google IMAX big project pullback suggests, the focus in the reality industry is shifting more towards AR. Let’s just hope that space travel is the reason enough for VR folks to pick up the pace.