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R.A.M. model featured on Sketchfab.com

R.A.M. model featured on Sketchfab.com

Today we learned that Sketchfab, a leading 3-D modelling site and popular destination for Virtual Reality developers and enthusiasts, has tagged our recently uploaded R.A.M. model as “Staff Selected”, which also features it on the home page of Sketchfab! The R.A.M. – Mars Desert Research Station by marssociety on Sketchfab

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The future of Mars colonization begins with VR and video games – CNET.com

The future of Mars colonization begins with VR and video games – CNET.com

The MarsVR project was mentioned prominently in an article that was featured on the front page of CNET.com.  Our project was one of the main subjects of the article and featured extensive quotes and other materials provided by James Burk, Director of IT & Program Manager of MarsVR. “To make these missions more accessible, the […]

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MarsVR on Mars Talk – James Burk and Ali Zareiee from VR Oslo & Adapa 360

MarsVR on Mars Talk – James Burk and Ali Zareiee from VR Oslo & Adapa 360

Episode 7 of Mars Talk is all about Virtual Reality and using it for the Exploration of Mars, with our two amazing experts: James Burk is our host this week, he’s the IT Director of the Mars Society and leads our MarsVR project, and Ali Zareiee who heads up our Scandinavian chapter and is a […]

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MarsVR Updates on Mars Talk Podcast

MarsVR Updates on Mars Talk Podcast

Greetings CrowdExplorers, In case you missed it, I did an extensive monologue about our MarsVR project and its current status starting at 2:38:23 during one of the recent episodes of the Mars Talk podcast.  I helped the Mars Society start this new podcast earlier this year, and we’ve been publishing it every two weeks.  This […]

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1 Year Anniversary of Successful Phase 1 Kickstarter

1 Year Anniversary of Successful Phase 1 Kickstarter

Greetings CrowdExplorers, It’s been a whole year since we successfully ended the MarsVR Phase 1 Kickstarter.   I’d like to provide you some updates on where we are and our future plans. We successfully captured all the buildings at the MDRS using photogrammetry in June 2018. We flew a drone several times to acquire a square […]

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Early Access Build Sent to Kickstarter Backers

Early Access Build Sent to Kickstarter Backers

Greetings CrowdExplorers! It’s been a quiet couple months on our end but I am pleased to provide you (the MarsVR Kickstarter backers) with an update on our progress with the Phase 1 Environment, a high-fidelity capture of the real-life Mars Desert Research Station near Hanksville, Utah. Today we sent the first pre-Beta, Early Access Build […]

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About

The MarsVR Program

A Multi-Phase Approach to Developing Virtual Reality

The Mars Society is building a new open-source Virtual Reality platform — we call it “MarsVR” — that can be used for serious research towards the goal of sending humans to Mars. The MarsVR Program will be a multi-phase effort designed to pioneer the emerging field of CrowdExploration, which we define as the partnership between the first astronauts on Mars and the VR experts and enthusiasts back on Earth. We aim to establish the capability of using Virtual Reality to assist with the initial human exploration of landing sites. Phase I of the Mars VR Program will focus on designing training simulations for use at the Mars Desert Research Station, providing direct assistance in the training of MDRS crew members. We will also open-source the key elements of the platform so that the general public can freely make use of it to experience the exploration of Mars.

Roadmap

Program Phases

Phase 1: MDRS Prototype & Demos

Phase 1 of MarsVR was focused on creating a prototype training environment centered on the Mars Desert Research Station. We scanned the base and a square mile of terrain using a drone and the latest photogrammetry techniques. We stitched these visual and virtual reality data assets together into a Unity project that was successfully demoed at the Mars Society conference and several other events. The Phase 1 build is available for chapters and interested enthusiasts to request but it is not yet publicly available. This is because there is some cleanup work remaining to ensure the buildings are accurate and the overall experience is high quality. Our team of volunteers is presently finalizing this environment and it should be ready in Spring 2020.

Phase 2: Improved Models & Unity Project Upgrades

Phase 2 was focused on a more general Unity project that can feature multiple environments and 3-d Base/Colony designs in addition to the MDRS facilities. We also began work on a future Mars terrain using the region of Melas Chasma on the floor of Valles Marineris, which is an ideal human settlement location.

Phase 3: First Public Release & New Partnerships

Phase 3 has just begun and features additional crowdfunding opportunities to support 2021 development, which we hope results in our first public release. We are also continuing to add new partnerships.

Phase 4: Crew Training Releases

Phase 4 will roll out our initial peer-reviewed crew training procedures, which will be provided to future MDRS crews as a free unlock, and sold to the public via the Steam Store for $30. Additional releases will increase the amount of training procedures and overall content in the application.

Goals

Goals of the MarsVR Platform

A Serious Research Tool

We hope to use Virtual Reality to do serious research on the challenges of exploring a landing site.

An Open Source Platform

We want to ensure that MarsVR is available and customizable for everybody. "Free" as in "Freedom".

An Example of Best Practices

We want to make best use of generally accepted technology processes and tools.

A Love Letter to Space Geeks

Built by and for space advocates, we hope everybody will enjoy this VR platform.

An Inspiration to the Youth

We aim to inspire the next generation of explorers and aspiring astronauts.

A STEM Education Platform

MarsVR will be a free, open source, and customizable environment, able to meet many educational purposes.

A Public Outreach Tool

We hope to use MarsVR to tell the story of the future human exploration of Mars.

An Immersive VR Experience

MarsVR will be a fully immersive experience, transporting you to the MDRS and able to explore everything.