NASA's Exoplanet Travel Office is now open, and although it will not actually do so we will take it to a trip far beyond our solar system, as its name might suggest, it could possibly be the second best option. It uses virtual reality technology to show people what it would be like on the surface of a strange world.
As explained in a report from Digital trends the images that NASA uses for this project are not real photos, but rather representations of artists based on the observations of the exoplanet of the Kepler Space Telescope. Thanks to these images, viewers can make "intergalactic vacations" through the interactive virtual reality experience, with the 360 degree views available on desktop PCs, mobile devices and virtual reality headsets.
"We live in a universe full of exoplanets, or planets outside our solar system Unfortunately, even the closest exoplanets are light years away, so sending space and human ships to these intriguing worlds is still a dream far away, "read a NASA press release quoted by Daily Express .
NASA & # 39; The Exoplanet Travel Bureau website comes with several options for people who plan to "explore the galaxy" in the comfort of their homes, all accompanied by their own posters inspired by the science fiction of the 1950s. These include a " planetary jump "from Earth-sized exoplanet TRAPPIST-1e, the opportunity to" relax "at Kepler-16b, where" your shadow always has company ", and a trip to Kepler-186f, which was often referred to as" cousin of the Earth ", the first confirmed planet the size of Earth to orbit a distant star in its habitable zone. PSO J318.5-22 is described as a planet where "nightlife never ends", due to the fact that it floats freely in outer space without a host star in orbit.
Take a virtual reality trip to an exoplanet with the new & # 39; Travel Bureau & # 39; https://t.co/MO2cyExhlS
– MMZCreativeSolutions (@MMZCS) June 3, 2018
In total, there are six different experiences to choose from, although at the time Digital Trends ] published his report, there were only three planets available to visit. However, there is a possibility that NASA will add more exoplanets to the Travel Office's website in the near future.
According to a blog post from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory last month, the VR version of Kepler-186f comes with a special feature, as the space agency's visualization tool allows you to see how the appearance changes of the sky from the surface of the planet, depending on whether the planet has an atmosphere or not.
"Because Kepler-186f and most of the planets discovered by Kepler are so distant that it is currently impossible to detect their atmospheres, if they exist, or to characterize their atmospheric properties," explained the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite program scientist ( TESS) Martin Still.