After announcing a partnership with Epic Games, NASA plans to join the metaverse. The iconic American government space agency has created a competition with Epic Games and Buendea to develop a martian metaverse simulation.
This unique challenge was first posted on Herox, the crowdsourcing problem-solving platform. It tasks developers with helping NASA to build “Virtual Reality (XR) assets and scenarios for use by NASA in research focused on extravehicular activities on the surface of Mars.”
The famous space agency joins the metaverse
It is a great competition with high hopes. Furthermore, those keen to compete will be providing the tools for space missions in years to come. Significantly, The United States government plans to have boots on Mars by 2040. The development of the NASA Martian metaverse simulation may help the odds of the mission succeeding.
This is not the first competition NASA has put out to the public. Quite often, these challenges take place on Herox. Significantly, there is a cash prize for those who do well in the NASA metaverse challenge. In total, there is up to $70,000 up for grabs.
“Creators can use Unreal Engine to build realistic simulation scenarios to help prepare NASA for future missions, whether to the moon or Mars,” said Seb Loze, Unreal Engine business director for simulation at Epic Games. “Whether you’re a game designer, architect, hobbyist or rocket scientist, anyone can build with UE5, and we can’t wait to see the immersive simulations the community comes up with.”
How will the NASA x Epic Games Metaverse competition work?
Virtual reality is a modern tool used in everything from pilot training to Formula one driving. It allows the users to gain high-level training experience at little cost. It is effective because of the visual emphasis on users and provides a fully immersive experience.
Now, NASA wants to use Epic Games’ Unreal Engine 5 for a realistic metaverse environment. Buendea will also play a vital role in the process. They are a unique group dedicated to solving extended reality (XR) graphics simulation challenges.
Basically, the challenge aims to populate an already-started metaverse world called MarsXR. It is a model of Mars, complete with identical 400 km2 of Mars landscape and featuring natural day/night patterns.
Mars follows a similar day cycle to Earth. It orbits the Sun once every 24 hours and 39 minutes, and these Martian days are called ‘sols’, short for Martian Solar Days. Developers will have to consider all of these things for the competition.
Participants in this NASA Mars XR metaverse challenge will get special access to this amazing virtual world. Furthermore, they can use assets, such as rovers, suits and more.
The virtual experience challenges within this NASA metaverse also come in categories. These categories include ‘set up camp’, ‘scientific research’, ‘maintenance’, ‘exploration’, and ‘blow our minds’. Each task has a clear purpose for the NASA metaverse space. This metaverse VR project will help in future space missions.