12 October 2017
Victorian game developer Opaque Space will develop virtual reality (VR) simulator programs for astronaut training, in partnership with Boeing Australia.
The partnership was announced last week at the International Astronautical Congress in Adelaide, where Boeing unveiled a new VR trainer for its CST-100 Starliner, a spacecraft capsule designed to transport crew to the International Space Station.
The VR trainer provides a low-cost alternative to training in Boeing’s physical Starliner simulator, providing users with a high-resolution, interactive, real-time virtual reality simulation of the Starliner spacecraft.
In the VR simulator, astronauts will gain experience with Starliner operations and perform training procedures including docking with the International Space Station. Opaque Space will develop future capabilities of the program, in collaboration with Boeing.
Speaking to Mashable, Boeing research and technology engineer Leighton Carr said, “We wanted to expand our vision and capabilities so we looked across the industry, looked at who was really pushing the envelope and doing the best in virtual reality in Australia. We found Opaque Space.”
The Starliner VR training simulator is the first virtual reality system developed by Boeing employees outside of the United States
Opaque Space is currently developing Earthlight, a narrative-driven VR game that allows players to experience life as a NASA astronaut. After the team posted images of the game online, NASA made contact with the team and they are now working in partnership to use Earthlight as a basis for NASA training programs.