Boeing, Varjo Team For Starliner Space Taxi VR Training
June 15, 2020
Boeing software engineer Connie Miller tries out the Varjo virtual-reality system to control a computer-generated Starliner space taxi. (Varjo / Boeing Photo)
Boeing isn’t due to start flying NASA crews to the International Space Station until next year, but in the meantime, astronauts can steer a computer-generated Starliner space taxi with the aid of Varjo’s virtual-reality headsets.
- Flnland-based Varjo announced today that Boeing will use its VR-2 headsets to augment more traditional simulator sessions in preparation for Starliner’s first crewed flight. Starliner is designed with the capability of flying itself, but the craft is also equipped with a joystick and other controls in case astronauts have to take manual control.
- Astronauts can use the virtual-reality system to rehearse an entire mission — from pre-launch to docking, and from undocking to landing. Varjo’s VR system allows the astronauts to train remotely without having to go to a fixed-site simulator. They can even train in their quarters during the two-week pre-launch quarantine period.
- Varjo VR-2 isn’t the only extended-reality system that’s been used for aerospace applications: Microsoft’s HoloLens augmented-reality headset has come into play on the space station as well as in Boeing manufacturing facilities down on Earth.