Virtual Tours of NASA Centers

The CBS This Morning show’s experiment with live-streaming from the set in virtual reality went pretty well today, I suppose—although honestly, watching Charlie Rose shuffle his papers while the camera operators mill around doesn’t make for the most riveting immersive experience.

But everyone is still feeling their way with VR, trying to figure out when, how, and especially why it should be used. So I applaud the idea, even if I stopped watching after about 90 seconds.

More relevant to our readers is this 360-degree video segment the show did a few months ago with VR Producer Jaunt—a behind-the-scenes look at the Mars 2020 rover project at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. The cameras visit a clean room, Mission Control, and—best of all—a fairly ordinary-looking garage where a rover mockup is parked like the family sedan. 

You’ll need to get the Jaunt app (from either Google Play or iTunes) and go to the Jaunt link to view it with your VR headset.▼

I’m sure we’ll be seeing more such VR tours of NASA facilities, like this one of the Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland, for GoPro VR (which app you also should get from Google Play or iTunes). The Goddard video isn’t quite as satisfying—maybe because it was adapted from a planetarium show rather than created explicitly for VR—but it gives us a hint of better tours to come. ▼

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