NASA sending goggles to orbit
Microsoft’s HoloLens is going on a mission to the International Space Station.
Microsoft’s HoloLens — goggles that beam holographic images into one’s line of vision — can make Earthlings feel as if they are walking on Mars. Now they are actually going into outer space.
NASA is sending the devices to the International Space Station, it said Thursday, giving astronauts extra eyes for repairs and other operations.
For example, the HoloLens could make animated repair- guide images hover above equipment being f ixed by the crew. It could beam images of what astronauts are seeing down to Earth, so operators back home could send drawings or notes that would appear in front of the HoloLenswearer.
One of the long- term hopes for the technology is to help astronauts function with less help from Earth, which could open up possibilities for navigating unknown planets.
“This new technology could also empower future explorers requiring greater autonomy on the journey to Mars,” said Sam Scimemi, director of the International Space Station program.
Two of the devices are slated to travel to the space station Sunday with a SpaceX supply mission, NASA said. Scientists from Jet Propulsion Laboratory in La Cañada Flintridge and Houston’s Johnson Space Center, the institutes spearheading the program along with NASA, have ensured that they will work in microgravity conditions.
Microsoft touted HoloLens’ potential for practical applications at an unveiling in January, naming doctors and construction workers as professionals who could benefit. It could also be great for gamers, who f locked to last week’s Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles for test runs with the “Halo” video game.