ANCHORAGE AK Alaskan Academy Award winner Ben Grossman, has created a virtual reality tour of the International Space Station.
Grossman, who grew up in Delta Junction and attended UAF before moving to Los Angeles to pursue a career in film-making, created the virtual reality tour in partnership with NASA.
He explained that his company Magnopus went to the Johnson Space Center and proposed to NASA to put a 360 degree camera in the International Space Station.
The idea was to give people “the feeling down on earth of floating around in space,” said Grossman.
To prepare for the pitch, the team at Magnopus created a virtual reality tour of the ISS instead of making “pictures, 3D models or artworks,” said Grossman.
NASA approved the pitch and suggested that Magnopus should release the virtual reality tour as “a stand-alone thing.”
Grossman agreed and with the support of Occulus Rift his company started developing “the experience.”
Over 6 months, Grossman, his team of artists and “a lot of astronauts” developed the virtual reality tour that includes participation in tutorials, spacewalks and even docking a Space X ship.
Grossman explained that for many of the astronauts who had been to the ISS, there was an element of homesickness to not being able to return to space.
Grossman then went on to tell KTUU that he had to decide what image would be seen through the famed Cupola window of the ISS.
Being Alaskan, Grossman decided on Anchorage but he was careful to put elements of Denmark, Africa and Italy to hide his hand.
Grossman also confirmed that he is currently working on a major international film that is created in virtual reality and exported to be viewed in cinemas.
He said the production, slated for release in 2019, is the first of its type in the world and that he would be able to give more information later this year.
Grossman could not confirm a set timeline for when the 360 degree camera would be in place in the International Space Station
To view the project visit: Click here to go to the VR Tour