BUZZ ALDRIN: CYCLING PATHWAYS TO MARS is a short VR experience that will thrill anyone remotely interested in astronomy, but with fantastic production and content, this experience will impress anyone!
I found this VR experience to be quite moving – so let me set the backdrop to this astronomical VR experience.
I’ve always had a interest in astronomy – more than passing, but not quite enthusiast level. This means I did an astronomy project when I was at primary school 40 years ago, it also means I recognise the names of most astronauts and can name the planets in order from the sun (wait, is Pluto a planet, again?).
It also means that in the early eighties when conventional wisdom and the science community scoffed at the chance of any life anywhere other than on earth, I was fascinated by the thought of life elsewhere, as suggested by the massive interest in UFO’s that decade. It also means I have owned simple telescopes, and have sat out watching for meteors during cold winter nights – and seen the ISS traverse the night sky with my naked eye.
So that’s my level of interest in astronomy – a basic general knowledge and genuine interest, nothing more.
I explain this, so that you can estimate by comparison your own level of interest astronomy, and perhaps gauge how much you will also enjoy this experience. Because I’ll be honest, I welled up watching this experience.
The first things that hit you about the Buzz Aldrin Mars VR experience are the production values, the base scene is well constructed and lit, and the orchestral music really sets the scene. My default volume was actually set a little bit high in my headphones, but I left them this was to be fully immersed.
But what really blew me away, was to find myself being addressed by Buzz Aldrin himself, represented as a 3d hologram, within arms length distance. This effect was created by 8i, who strive to create “volumetric video of real people that look and feel as if they’re in the same room.” – Mission accomplished 8i, great job!
Then when Buzz started to explain his Mars colonization plan, and an amazing planetary 3d animation starting playing out in front of me, it just blew me away.
As a kid I was totally drawn in by The Martian Chronicles, which has probably aged terribly, however to think that now, within our lifetime, mankind could actually inhabit Mars, and to hear such a massive undertaken explained so enthusiastically by Buzz Aldrin – a man who has actually walked on another world already… I dare anybody not to be impressed with this VR experience.