No matter how badass your social media feed is, it’s unlikely to top this content any time this century — meet the show called Space Explorers: The ISS Experience. It aims to let all of us on Earth know what it feels like (kinda) to be in space.
How? The show is a collaboration between the International Space Station, Time Studios and Felix & Paul Studios, and it attached a 360° camera to the ISS’ Canadarm2 robotic arm. The resulting footage will give viewers some idea of what it’s like to exist on a small tin can zooming around the planet some 400km from the surface.
We’re all space explorers
It’s almost striking that we don’t have any 360° footage of space yet but, happily for astrophiles, that’s about to change. One of the show’s creators, Felix & Paul Studios, sent a customised Z-Cam V1 Pro to the ISS where it’s being used to record the VR episodes. The camera has nine 4K sensors, capable of shooting 360° footage in an update to 8K. It’s been made more rugged, with radiation and temperature shielding as well as reinforcement in case of micrometeor impact. The ISS is zipping around at more than 28,000km/h — clipping something tiny at that speed could prove very dangerous.
Two of these episodes are already available online, covering the crew of the ISS and the role of women on board the space station. Both of these are great but it’s what comes next that’s seriously exciting, visually. Episodes 3 and 4 consists of footage of the spacewalk and they’ll be available later this year. But you don’t want to watch them on your phone.
We mean, you can, but Space Explorers is practically what devices like the Oculus Quest were made for. You might never launch into space like a billionaire with your own spaceship but you can at least experience the planet from a perspective you’ve never seen before. The show is currently available in the Oculus ecosystem, as well as on certain 5G-enabled devices in parts of the world that aren’t South Africa.