NASA and Epic Games collaborate on Mars metaverse simulation
NASA has partnered with Epic Games, creators of Fortnite, to provide developers with a challenge: help create a Mars metaverse experience. The mission will include the creation of a number of key habitats for Mars astronauts that will be recreated using Epic Games' Unreal Engine 5 to provide realistic environments.
NASA will create a Martian metaverse to aid in training.
NASA recently launched a challenge for training reasons, asking for developers to help create a Martian metaverse environment. The challenge, launched by crowdsourcing problem-solving site Herox, asks developers to help NASA create "virtual reality (XR) assets and scenarios that NASA can use to study extravehicular activities on the surface of Mars.
The intent of the competition is to populate a virtual universe environment already underway called MarsXR, which now maps 400 square kilometers of the Martian landscape with a realistic day/night cycle, all modeled with Epic Games' Unreal Engine 5, which developers will also use to generate challenge submissions.
Virtual Reality Experiment
NASA's virtual experiences for this mission include building camps, scientific research, maintenance, exploration and blowing our minds, each with a specific goal to achieve. The winner will receive a total prize of $70,000, divided into 20 individual prizes. This means that the average prize for each category is $6,000.
According to Herox's page, the initiative has already piqued the interest of a variety of eager organizations. Help expand NASA's Mars metaverse. More than 24 teams and 237 innovators are working on Mars simulations that will help the government save money by using a virtual reality module called Apache to train the next astronaut in a variable scenario.
While agencies have been slow to adopt virtual reality and Metaverse-based programs, that appears to be changing as Microsoft and Meta both roll out virtual reality suites in the field. Last year, Microsoft announced the integration of Mesh into the popular Microsoft Teams program, which will replace video with digital avatars for meetings and presentations. Meta has just announced the addition of Venues to its flagship Metaverse software, Horizon Worlds.