March 23, 2017

Buzz Aldrin takes you to Mars in VR

20 March 2017, 04:17 | Ross Houston

This is Aldrin in the VR film detailing how much resourceful ice exists on the moon

This is Aldrin in the VR film detailing how much resourceful ice exists on the moon

"First, we have to understand the conditions under which we're going to use something", he said, referring to the infrastructure needed for a successful mission. It could use a catchier title, but the VR film is both a technical feat and an effective way to explain how on earth we'll get to the red planet.

But in Aldrin's vision, humans won't just walk on Mars or plant a flag there; they'll build an entire, self-sustaining colony. Elon Musk's SpaceX is also planning to send settlers to Mars as soon as 2024. SXSW attendees will be the first to experience "Buzz Aldrin: CYCLING PATHWAYS TO MARS" at its world premiere today in the Virtual Cinema starting at 11 a.m. (CT), followed by a featured session with Buzz Aldrin in conversation with TIME Editor-at-large Jeffrey Kluger at 3:30 p.m.

Buzz Aldrin would be 89 if he were part of a wished-for launch to Mars on July 20, 2019 - the 50th anniversary of his moon landing.

The film, created by virtual reality firm 8i in partnership with Time, brings the viewer to the surface of Mars - surrounded by an envisioning of what a Mars colony may look like. They were moving for different reasons.

From his early years in New Jersey, Aldrin says he was fascinated by the outer space adventures of Buck Rogers and Flash Gordon; his Mars plan is the latest reach for the stars. I think that's one of the biggest concerns. "Especially if they have prepared to and made the decision, have the willingness and desire to go and spend the rest of their lives there, pioneering". "I just kind of wondered, what would happen if we intentionally went around the moon, came back to the Earth, and then swung around the earth and went back out again?"

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Virtual reality technology has struggled to break into the mainstream, as costly headsets and limited premium content have failed to spark consumer demand. A VR trailer for the experience will be available in the LIFE VR app for iOS and Android beginning March 17. The film was incredible.

Charles Singletary from Upload VR said that "the production quality makes you feel like you're standing in the middle of a high tier sci-fi film, which makes it all the more mind-blowing that Buzz is guiding you through something that could realistically be implemented".

"The hologram was very crisp and was presented as a projection in the virtual space, a small detail that keeps the immersion intact", he added.

In the 10-minute film, which comes to Steam and HTC Vive's Viveport store on March 17 and Oculus Rift after, you'll be able to ride in the cycler that Aldrin created to transport humans to Mars quickly and efficiently.

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