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$7,649 pledged of $25,000 goal
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By Guerilla Science
$7,649 pledged of $25,000 goal
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About this project

Everyone deserves a vacation. Whether you’re loaded down with work, stressed out about the political climate, or simply need to escape the planet for some rest and relaxation, the Intergalactic Travel Bureau is here to help! 

We've planned space vacations for thousands of satisfied customers in the U.K. and U.S., thanks in part to our Kickstarter-backed project in 2014, when over a thousand supporters helped us bring the unique experience of planning a holiday to space on a three-city tour. We've planned vacations for clients to as near as Low Earth Orbit and as far away as distant galaxies, sparking conversations about the challenges and rewards of vacationing in the great void.

Now we're bringing the joy of a trip to space to anyone with our virtual reality app. With the power of your smartphone, and a simple VR viewer, you can enter the Intergalactic Travel Bureau from anywhere on the planet, and be transported to other worlds. You dream vacation is waiting...inside your pocket!

Visitors to the Intergalactic Travel Bureau pose on Mars.
Visitors to the Intergalactic Travel Bureau pose on Mars.

The Intergalactic Travel Bureau Virtual Reality App

 The Intergalactic Travel Bureau VR app lets you go on a space vacation from the comfort of our stylish virtual office. Get ready to tour the historic Apollo landing sites on the Moon, the vast canyons of Mars’s Mariner Valley, and the icy surface of Jupiter’s moon Europa. Experience the joys of vacationing in space...without all of the hassle of actually going there.  

By supporting this project, you will be helping to bring the incredible experience of visiting another world to everyone. This free VR app will allow STEM educators the opportunity to show aspiring space vacationers of all ages what alien worlds actually look like. 

Screenshot from our prototype iOS app
Screenshot from our prototype iOS app

How We Do It

To build a virtual world, you need to have both 3D models of the terrain, as well as imagery to texture the terrain with. Fortunately, NASA and friends have provided us with all this data. Our challenge is to process it and merge it together to create the realistic and accurate landscapes for you to explore.

The process of turning real NASA data into virtual space vacations spots is multi-step:

  • First we process elevation and image data using ISIS3 and Blender3d software
  • Next we clean up and align both data sets (elevation and image data) using custom python scripts
  • Then we import heightmaps into Unity to create a Terrain object using C# scripts
  • We make manual adjustments and revisions to image data to improve the quality of experience (i.e. seam blending)
  • We texture the terrains with image data in Unity to make them look as true-to-life as possible
Flyover of Mars's Mariner Valley
Flyover of Mars's Mariner Valley

Once we've built landscapes in Unity, we add artistic flourishes that we hope the aspiring space vacationer will enjoy. For each destination spot, we are creating a custom guided tour to give visitors a feel for how the locals live.

What We Need

We've started creating landscapes and have learned a lot about processing NASA data along the way. It takes a lot of time and care to reconstruct these other worlds, especially to make them look good. We're raising funds to finish our renderings, adding details to make them as beautiful as possible. We need to finish designing our main office, finalize the sequences for our guided tours, add remaining signage, a soundtrack with narration, and test the apps before releasing on iOS and Android platforms. The final app will feature experiences at Mars's Mariner Valley, the Apollo landing sites of the Moon, and Jupiter's moon Europa. 

In addition to funding, we'd like to grow our network of scientists, space industry professionals, travel experts, VR developers, artists and designers who believe in working together to provide the experience of a trip to space to all. If you believe in our mission and you think you can help, please get in touch! 

Rewards

We're thrilled to bring you new art from illustrator Steve Thomas as part of our thank you for being a backer! 

Collect six new postcards from Steve Thomas!
Collect six new postcards from Steve Thomas!

In addition, we are offering a very limited number of signed copies of the Intergalactic Travel Bureau's Vacation Guide to the Solar System, which will be published this coming June! The book is loaded with more art from Steve Thomas, and will bring you an in-depth look at some of the destinations we're bringing you to with our VR app! 

Get a signed copy of our book! Limited quantity available.
Get a signed copy of our book! Limited quantity available.

 

 

Who We Are

We are Guerilla Science, an organization that sees science as a tool for empowerment for everyone. We've been bringing the magic of space vacation planning to the public for five years with the Intergalactic Travel Bureau, a pop-up travel agency where anyone can imagine the wonders of traveling to the stars with our trained agents, many of whom hold PhDs in astronomy and astrophysics. We are excited to bring our virtual reality space vacation app into the world with a team of talented collaborators.

James Hedberg is a physicist and teacher at City College who has spent years developing computer simulations that bring challenging scientific concepts to life. 

Kate Benson is an actor and writer who lives in Brooklyn. Her plays include [Porto] and A Beautiful Day in November on the Banks of the Greatest of Great Lakes.

Olivia Koski is Head of Operations for Guerilla Science, a sometime laser engineer and journalist with a passion for space vacation planning. 

Jana Grcevich is an astrophysicist specializing in dwarf galaxies and teaching teachers how to teach science. She holds the informal world record for number of space vacations planned, having worked as a travel agent to the stars at the Intergalactic Travel Bureau since 2012. 

Steve Thomas is an illustrator and graphic artist, with a love for vintage poster, propaganda and product art from the early 20th century. He has created artwork for Star Wars, Disney, Fox, Star Trek, Hasbro, The Muppets and Marvel.

Bishi is a multi-instrumentalist influenced by English folk, classical Indian, and disco music. 

What Others Say

 

Risks and challenges

Turning raw scientific data into beautiful virtual worlds for all to enjoy takes technical skill, creativity, and time. The NASA data sets are diverse, employing a variety of instruments and file formats. Building each new landscape requires an in-depth development process where we incorporate multiple sets of raw data to build the 3D digital models, and technical challenges inevitably arise. We've already learned a lot in our initial stages of development and we've created a solid workflow. We're a committed team with technical, scientific, and creative expertise to overcome any challenge because we are incredibly passionate about space vacationing, and we hope you are too.

Guerilla Science is an organization that has been committed to public engagement with science since 2008, and we have a large network of collaborators, supporters, and friends we can call on to help us on this journey.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    Armchair Traveler

    Our heartfelt thanks to you for making the dream of a space vacation a (virtual) reality for all! We'll send you a digital thank you postcard from space designed by Steve Thomas.

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    Pledge $15 or more About $15

    Economy Class

    We'll embed your name in a secret location on the Moon with other Kickstarter supporters, and send you a physical thank you postcard from space featuring a new design by Steve Thomas!

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    Postcards from Space

    We'll send you six collectible postcards from space with brand new designs by Steve Thomas featuring the Moon, Mars, Jupiter, Pluto, Saturn, and Neptune!

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    Business Class

    We'll embed your name in a secret location on Mars with other Kickstarter supporters and send you our limited edition Intergalactic Travel Bureau stickers, buttons, and three collectible physical postcards from the Moon, Mars, and Jupiter, designed by Steve Thomas.

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    Pledge $30 or more About $30

    Your Vacation Guide to the Solar System!

    We'll send you a signed copy of our upcoming book, Vacation Guide to the Solar System: Science for the Savvy Space Traveler, in addition to other rewards! It includes everything you need to know as you prepare for that ultimate getaway, packed with beautiful illustrations from Steve Thomas.

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    Pledge $35 or more About $35

    Poster Lover

    We'll send you a small-size (11" x 17") poster from Steve Thomas featuring your selection of new art of the Moon, Mars, or Jupiter, plus our signature stickers and buttons! We'll also acknowledge you with other Kickstarter backers in our virtual office space.

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    Pledge $40 or more About $40

    First Class

    We'll send you an Intergalactic Travel Bureau commemorative patch, VR cardboard with instructions on how to download the app, and embed your name on Europa with other Kickstarter supporters, plus all other rewards.

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    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    Platinum

    You'll get your name embedded in all three locations and a never-before-released 18" x 24" poster from Steve Thomas.

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    Pledge $300 or more About $300

    Build Your Own Alien Landscape

    Learn how to build virtual worlds with us! This reward secures you a spot in an exclusive one day workshop on how to use NASA data to create alien landscapes with Unity in the NYC area.

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    Pledge $2,500 or more About $2,500

    Your Name in Lights

    Want your name to appear on a sign on the Moon, Mars, or Europa? We'll put your custom logo in our VR app (pending approval by our panel of extra terrestrial sign permit granters).

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    Pledge $10,000 About $10,000

    Custom Package

    Is there a place in the universe you've never been to, but would like to go? We'll create a custom VR space vacation destination for you based on your interests and available scientific data! The sky is no limit!

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Funding period

- (30 days)