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Video: Astronauts Playing Virtual Reality "Space Invaders" Inside the International Space Station Goes Viral

May 08, 2016 12:49 PM EDT
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Where's the best place to play Space Invaders? Well, NASA and ESA astronauts found it; it's more exciting to play this game in space.

Scott Kelly and Tim Peake was filmed playing a Virtual Reality version of the popular video game, Space Invaders and it looks like they were having an lot of fun while doing so. They were seen dodging, docking and fighting alien missiles thrown at them, in zero gravity.

 

No wonder it went viral, how often can you spot people play space invaders in space? In the video uploaded by the European Space Agency (ESA), the two astronauts were playing virtual reality 'Space Invaders', it was filmed during Scott Kelly's last month on the International Space Station.

ESA uploaded the video showing British astronaut Tim Peake, and NASA's Scott Kelley use their skills to outwit their virtual opponent. But the two astronauts are not the only ones who had fun. ESA operatives added special effects on Peake's and Kelly's video making it all the more amusing to watch. 

"The game was just a bit of fun where Scott and I were being attacked by aliens from all over the place and we fire our cannons by squeezing our fingers together", Peake said. He added "we had to dodge their missiles, hence a lot of ducking and weaving going on... much fun."

The Space Invaders virtual reality game is part of NASA's study to utilize virtual reality in space operations. Space agencies are currently testing virtual reality systems inside the International Space Station, according to Space.Com. Somehow, the two, having been isolated from the comforts of the Earth, found themselves amused by the game.

 The virtual reality system is actually Microsoft's HoloLens technology. It will be developed to help astronauts in space repairs and tasks on-board. They will be using the 'augmented reality' headsets which were worn on the video by the astronauts.

The technology will "aid astronauts in their daily routine by providing them with additional information and allowing mission control to survey them and provide assistance" said ESA.

This virtual reality program will enable Earth-borne crew to see what the space crew sees when set to 'remote expert' and it can also put holographic images on top of an object when the 'procedure mode' is enabled.

For Captain Peake, this new technology will enable a more efficient space-to-ground collaboration "ground control can come into our virtual world, and we can use it for doing tasks together - foe example, the VR world can point out exactly what switches to flip or which screws to loosen, handles to turn and even guide us to storage locations.

Meanwhile, as scientists continue testing the virtual technology further, astronauts aboard the ISS can play 'Space Invaders' fighting aliens on their down time.

 

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