The National Geographic Channel has one major treat coming up for its viewers, reportsSpace.com.
Channel officials have disclosed the tantalizing news that they have made the first 3D Virtual Reality (VR) film ever shot in space.
The 3D VR film is a 360-degree video tour of the International Space Station (ISS) and will be showcased on National Geographic’s One Strange Rock documentary series.
The incredible, one-of-a-kind VR film will be featured next month on the series’ May 28 episode, which airs at 10 p.m. E.D.T. (9 p.m. C.D.T.).
For those of you who can’t wait that long, National Geographic has released a YouTube video offering a taste of what’s to come, which you can watch below. For the best possible experience, Space.com recommends that you watch the video on your smartphone, with a VR headset.
According to National Geographic’s YouTube channel, the idea of the 4-minute-long film is to give the public a chance to experience how it feels to step inside Earth’s orbiting laboratory.
The 3D VR film transports viewers to the ISS and allows them to experience, from the comfort of their own couch, what it means to live and work on the space station.
This includes the “magic of weightlessness,” the sensation of spinning around the globe at 17,000 miles per hours, and the eye-opening impact on the perception of time that comes from living in space.
More importantly, the virtual reality short film offers viewers a completely unique perspective of planet Earth as seen from outer space, allowing them to “take in an impossibly stunning view of our home that just might change how you think about Earth,” notes the caption of the YouTube video.
The Italian astronaut, who was one of the two flight engineers of Expedition 52-53, filmed a moving video tour documenting life on the ISS. The film features many of his fellow astronauts, including NASA’s Peggy Wilson, the first woman to ever command the space station, on her last day on the ISS before the end of Expedition 52, Space.com reports.
The 3D VR film also features former NASA astronauts Mae Jemison, Mike Massimino, and Nicole Stott, who talk about how it feels to watch Earth from space every day and see our home planet in all its beauty.
“I took a look at the planet and just sort of let it sink in,” Massimino says in the video, as the scene cuts to a view of Earth slowly spinning below.
“And then, I thought to myself, ‘This is something human eyes are not supposed to see. This must be the view from heaven,'” Massimino says.
The three astronauts join retired Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield, who is featured at the very beginning of the film. Hadfield delivers an inspirational monologue about what his experience on the ISS taught him, which is to see “the world for what it truly is: home.”
The striking 3D, 360-degree cinematic virtual reality sequence shot for the One Strange Rock series was filmed with a state-of-the-art Vuze VR camera, which National Geographic shipped to the ISS last November specifically for this purpose.
Nespoli even received a Skype crash-course on VR filming from the series’ director, award-winning filmmaker Darren Aronofsky, states Space.com.