NASA is bringing virtual reality to space, using Microsoft’s HoloLens aboard the International Space Station (ISS).
— Tim Peake (@astro_timpeake) February 20, 2016
This will be done in two ways – using the ‘Remote Expert Mode’ where an astronaut is talked through each step via Skype, and the ‘Procedure Mode’ where holograms are used to illustrate what needs to be done.
It means if an astronaut is carrying out a difficult repair task, NASA can send on visual instructions that can be overlaid on the physical objects on the space station using the HoloLens.
In preparation for its use on the ISS, NASA tested the HoloLens in its Aquarius underwater research station.
NASA hasn’t said that HoloLens will be made standard issue for all of its missions just yet but it certainly looks like it could help with training and communications during difficult tasks or crises.