System: HTC Vive & Oculus Rift
Price at Time Of Review: Free
Comfort Rating: Green
Input: Tracked Motion Controllers
Best Playing Position: Sitting
Age Rating: PG
VR Shop Score 1/100: 65
Description: Take VR journeys through the TRAPPIST-1 system of exoplanets and to NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope, which played a key role in their discovery. Travel along with one of NASA’s Great Observatories in the Spitzer module to see how its 16+ year mission enabled astronomers to study the universe as it appears in infrared light. Then interactively take control of Spitzer yourself to observe sources in infrared sky and review your data once it’s been transmitted to Earth.
The TRAPPIST-1 tour takes you on an imagined voyage to an incredible system of 7 Earth-sized worlds discovered and characterized by Spitzer working in collaboration with other telescopes on Earth and in space. The immersive imagery is inspired by our best current scientific understanding of these exoplanets. This experience has been developed and updated by the Communications and Education group at Caltech/IPAC in support of the Spitzer mission, which concluded science operations on January 30th, 2020.
Review: While ‘NASA’s Exoplanet Excursions’ is little more than linear educational experience it is something that grabbed my interest. There is a small amount of interactivity here, but not much. In fact, you don’t even need a VR headset as you can watch the whole experience using your mobile in the video below. The good news is the narration is clear and easily understandable and there is a good amount to learn here, but it is more for the space nerds out there as it is not the best looking space experience by any means. At least it is free I suppose, meaning you can give it a go without having to open your wallet.