This story is from the category Pure Research
Date posted: 15/06/2007
NASA Ames Research Centre, under the direction of Simon "Pete" Worden, has launched an island in Second Life, intended to act as a launching platform for public participation in NASA missions.
Worden, both in avatar form - known as Simon Pete Raymaker - as well as in physical form, spoke Saturday at the National Space Society's (NSS) 26th annual International Space Development Conference being held in SL.
"We at NASA are working hard to create opportunities for what I might call participatory exploration," Worden's avatar told participants at the panel.
"We're using the power of virtual environments to expand our reach," Worden said. "We are looking at how this island can be a portal for all to fly along on space missions. Real data from real missions such as the International Space Station can be ported into virtual environments," he added.
"We can walk or fly along with a lunar rover as it makes its way over the lunar landscape," Worden said. "Your avatar can explore along with those of scientists and engineers managing the mission."
"When the next people step onto the surface of the Moon in a little over a decade, your avatar could be with them," he noted.
By matching the attributes of cyberspace with small, inexpensive space probes using micro-satellite technologies, a new world of space exploration is feasible, Worden suggested. "As we expand into and settle the solar system...we'll all be going."
"This is not your father's space program," Worden said. "The new technology of virtual life in cyberspace means we can all participate in the vision for space exploration. The revolution in nanotechnology means we can do pretty surprising things in very small packages too."
See the full Story via external site: www.space.com
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