NASA has big hopes for virtual reality technology. The agency is developing a suite of virtual reality environments at Goddard Spaceflight Center in Maryland, that could be used for everything from geological research to repairing orbiting satellites.
One displays fiery ejections from the Sun. In another, scientists can watch magnetic fields pulse around the earth. A virtual rendering of an ancient lava tube in Idaho makes scientists feel like they’re standing at the bottom of an actual cave.
The goal, he says, is to scale up the use of virtual reality technology in NASA labs, and go beyond public applications like the Mars immersion program that allows users to explore the Martian surface. For example, NASA volcanologist Brent Garry is hoping that virtual visits to a rock formation in Idaho can help him plan research trips in real life. That same VR environment also allows users to measure distances and leave notes in the landscape. READ MORE
“Space for U.S.” features 56 stories illustrating how NASA science has made an impact in every state in the nation as well as the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and regions along the Atlantic, Pacific, Gulf of Mexico and the Great Lakes. You can browse stories by state or by topics such as animals, disasters, energy, health, land and water.
“It’s exciting and impressive how people are putting NASA data to work across the country,” said Lawrence Friedl, director of the Applied Sciences Programin the Earth Science Division, Washington. Projects range from guiding pilots around hazardous volcanic ash plumes over Alaska to first responders in North Carolina planning for recovery efforts after devastating hurricanes to conservationists in Hawaii improving the health of coral reefs.
NASA freely and openly provides its Earth-observing data to those seeking answers to important global issues such as changing freshwater availability, food security and human health. The Applied Sciences program funds projects that enable innovative uses of NASA Earth science data, resulting in informed decision making to strengthen America’s economy and improve the quality of life worldwide.
To view “Space for U.S.”: https://www.nasa.gov/spaceforus
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