SpaceVR: Your Ticket to Space (Canceled)
We're a small group with a big mission: making it possible for everyone to explore space using the power of virtual reality.
Here at SpaceVR we’re a collective of astronauts, NASA scientists, space engineers and hackers who believe that everyone should be able to explore the universe.
We’ve all dreamed of the stars, imagined being able to float through the space station, wanted to experience a space walk and explore the Moon and Mars. At SpaceVR, we want to make that possible.
We’re sending a virtual reality camera to the Cupola module, the observation deck of the International Space Station (ISS) to capture immersive 3D video – giving you the chance to have the same experience the astronauts get in real life.
Our camera, the Overview One, will be assembled on the ISS. We’re developing space-ready cameras, fans and the PCB boards to send up and are using a 3D printer on board to make the camera chassis and stand, ensuring we can get the VR camera running as quickly, cheaply and efficiently as possible.
Who hasn’t wanted to travel to space?
Of the 108 billion people who have ever lived, only 536 have ever experienced the earth from space – and that’s changed the way they see the world.
Being in space and looking down at the earth, astronauts are hit with an astounding reality: our planet is a tiny, fragile ball of life, “hanging in the void,” shielded and nourished by a paper-thin atmosphere. It’s a phenomenon known as the Overview Effect.
That experience inspires a completely new perspective. You begin to see a world without borders, the conflicts that divide people become irrelevant, and the need to come together as a civilization to protect this “pale blue dot” becomes both obvious and imperative.
We want to give you a chance to experience that. It’s about more than putting a virtual reality camera in space, it’s about giving you the chance to explore space and your role in it. This is bigger than a website, an app or being just another VR company – we’re a movement.
We look at those 536 people and ask ourselves, what about the other 7 billion? Our vision is to bring the Overview Effect to everyone by allowing people to truly experience space and to explore our universe through the magic of virtual reality.
Our roster is filled with NASA scientists, the sixth astronaut to walk on the moon, a private American astronaut (aka the guy who coined the word avatar), space engineers, hackers, geologists, commercial space pioneers and hustlers – not to mention our amazing list of advisors. If you could come up with a #DreamTeam, this would be it.
Let’s not sugarcoat it, we’re not the first people who have dreamed of sending a VR camera to space. In fact, a few others have tried and failed because they didn't fully understand the process and partnerships entailed in launching hardware into space. We don’t have that problem.
Space exploration has been our passion for our entire lives and we’ve got tons of medals and awards to show for it – you can even spot the world championship trophy from the Mars Society/University Rover Challenge on our mantle.
Our squad has helped launch WiFi to the Space Station, worked to capture the first image ever from inside Jupiter, founded hackerspaces and space accelerators, cooled atoms to almost -459°F using lasers, developed new life support technology for manned space missions using liquid nitrogen, developed the cutting edge technology for VR and AR, organized NASA’s International Space Apps challenge, and even managed to give a killer TedX talk in our spare time. No big deal.
We’re a team with the right mix of vision, experience, passion and craziness to succeed where others have failed. We’ve laid all the groundwork and gotten the camera space-ready, but it can only get into orbit with your help.
That’s where you come in – here’s your chance to join our crew as we venture off into unchartered territories. We don’t want to build this project in a vacuum, we want to know what you want to see and where you want to go next.
Together we can get the Overview One into space and start connecting with worlds beyond our own. Kickstarter is just the beginning.
So Why Kickstarter?
“Astronauts shall be regarded as the envoys of mankind.” – U.N. Outer Space Treaty
Space is the final frontier and everybody should have a chance to be a part of that. We know there’s a lot of excitement about exploring space by the people, for the people and we need your help to prove it.
Together we can make the universe accessible to everyone, inspire the next generation of explorers and get people excited about STEAM fields.
We want to build a very strong community that understands that space exploration is now in our hands. The more supporters we have the further we’ll go, and the faster we’ll get there. You can be an astronaut. By supporting us you will help us decide where we go next – to the moon, asteroids or Mars.
And when we get there you won’t just be a bystander to history, you’ll feel like an active participant, standing side by side with the astronauts. We will be explorers together.
What You’re Supporting
- Lift Off: Help us help you get a ticket to space. We need to cover our development, deployment and operational expenses for of the Overview One camera for the first year aboard the ISS.
What does that take? About $185,000. That includes the equipment, testing and flight certifications required to get the camera space ready. We’ll go through vibration, thermal, flammability, electromagnetic interference, kick testing, the works – and lots of spare parts while we fine tune the design.
- On-Orbit Operations: As you can imagine, there are a lot of pieces required to get this up and running. We need to cover the costs of manufacturing and maintenance, while providing salaries for a team with the experience to keep the cameras running.
That entails about $110,000, to manufacture/3D print the materials and deliver software updates. Not to mention supporting the talent required to maintain the camera while we continue to launch new missions and develop new experiences in space.
- R&D: The Overview One is our first generation camera, but we need your help supporting our team for the first year in our quest to take this to the next level. We dream of beaming down and livestreaming casts, launching a network of cube sats in orbit and eventually landing cameras on the moon, asteroids and Mars. We even want to skydive in Jupiter by 2030. And no, we’re not kidding about that last part.
Pioneering a whole new avenue of space exploration isn’t cheap and it’s going to take $205,000 to make that happen. We don’t know exactly what we’ll need as we scale, but we will need your help to expand while preserving our existing efforts.
We know some of you might be skeptical that we can actually pull off a project this ambitious or that a VR headset can truly capture what an astronaut sees and feels.
At first some of us were too – that is until we saw the footage of Mars taken by the Curiosity Rover for ourselves and legit felt like we were there. Rest assured, it’s pretty epic stuff.
So how does the magic happen? It all starts with the platform: virtual reality. Then it’s all about capturing the right content.
These experiences are delivered through a headset, such as the Samsung Gear VR or the more cost effective Google Cardboard, which allow you to look around and see the environment in all directions. The headset itself is a wearable device you put over your eyes that combines all of these components to teleport you to another world.
It’s been widely regarded by innovators that virtual reality is the future, and that its potential for changing how we see and interact with our world (and others) is staggering.
Don’t believe us? Ask Elon Musk.
Join our community of SpaceVR supporters on social media!
We would love your support in spreading the word about making space exploration available to everyone on Earth -- just tag us and use the #BeAnAstronaut hashtag!
You can also support us by backing this project. By pledging to our campaign, you will get backer perks from behind the scenes updates on our progress, to limited edition posters, to access to the virtual reality footage we capture from space.
Here is what is included in each of our pledge packages:
We are supported by an incredible team of advisors and partners who are all passionate about our mission to bring space exploration to everyone:
Risks and challenges
As with any project involving space travel, there are challenges that we will have to tackle. We are doing everything we can to minimize the risks, and will make adjustments as necessary (and keep you updated) if we run into any obstacles.
First, the ship dates we’ve provided are our current estimates--there may be some changes to when we are able to deliver rewards as the project progresses. This could be due to a number of factors, like launch date slips, or delays while the camera is on-orbit. We will do our best to notify you of any such changes via Kickstarter.com, the SpaceVR website, and/or any email address that you have provided.
Second, since we will be launching the Overview One on a vehicle controlled by another organization, there could be potential launch delays for reasons outside of our control. We have teamed up with NanoRacks to reduce these risks as much as possible.
Third, rockets can fail. There is a small chance that our payload could be lost during launch. If that is the case, we will make every effort to get a second payload on the next available flight. There is also a low risk of damage to the camera due to vibrations during launch.
Fourth, our goal is to get your rewards to you as they become available, but it still may take some time to distribute all the rewards properly. We ask for your patience as we distribute the rewards, and we will keep you updated via email about the status of your reward.
Fifth, while we are confident that we can deliver all the rewards offered, there is a chance that we will run into some unforeseen obstacles (e.g. alien invasions). If that should happen and we are unable to fulfill your promised reward, we will offer a fair substitution of the reward or we will provide a full refund of your pledge upon request.
Lastly, there are a few operational risks as space missions are never easy. Our hardware could be delayed because of requirement changes, additional testing needs, or fabrication challenges. On orbit, there could be communication outages (either due to space weather or restrictions by CASIS/NASA), camera module failure, or radiation damage. The likelihood of this happening is low as our technical team, mentors, and advisors are highly skilled engineers who have extensive experience in space mission design.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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