Go to Space With NASA’s New Apps: Exoplanet Excursions and NASA Selfies

Science is a serious business, and you might think that NASA is all-business and no fun, but they like to make things interesting from time to time. In an attempt to draw the public’s attention towards the sky up above, the agency has released two apps: Exoplanet Excursions and NASA Selfies.

The first one, Exoplanet Excursions is a virtual reality app that can be used with Oculus and HTC Vive headsets. The other one is quite trendy, considering the global ‘selfie’ phenomenon.

Both apps were created for a reason: to celebrate the 15th anniversary of the launch of NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope, which has taken so many amazing photographs that will be present in the apps.

Let’s check out more about the apps that were presented in a blog post on NASA’s website.

Exoplanet Excursions

According to NASA, this VR app will take users on a “guided tour of the TRAPPIST-1 planetary system.”

TRAPPIST-1 is the only exoplanet system known to humans that hosts seven planets almost the size of ours. Spitzer detected the planets and gathered information to help scientists find out what their composition would be. Considering the system is too far for telescopes to look at the planets, the VR app will take humans to an impression of the planets. NASA explained on their website that

“These impressions are based on data from Spitzer and other telescopes that have studied the TRAPPIST-1 system.”

The app will be available on the Spitzer mission website and will soon be found in the Oculus store. Users that own an Oculus or Vive headset will be able to experience the VR journey into TRAPPIST-1. There is also a 360-degree video on the Spitzer Youtube page for the public to see the VR journey on their desktop, smartphone or with Google Cardboard.

NASA Selfies

Yes, that’s a cat in a spacesuit, posing in front of the giant star Zeta Ophiuchi. The app will let you take snaps of yourself (or your beloved pet). It will then place your photo in a spacesuit, in front of an astonishing image captured by Spitzer. The app has a simple interface. You just have to take a photo, choose a background and then share it on social media.

Although it is apparently just trendy, the app also has information on each background it provides, at the moment there are only 30 images, but the agency promises to add more “science and human spaceflight missions” in the future.

You can use this app on iOS and Android devices.

Rex Austin

Rex Austinwas born and raised in Thunder Bay Ontario on the shores of Lake Superior. Apart from running his own podcast (Ice Fishing And Other “Cool” Things), he spends his time canoeing and backpacking in Northern Ontario.. As a journalist Rex has published stories for Global News (Thunder Bay) we well as Buzz Feed and Joystiq. As a contributor to Great Lakes Ledger, Rex most covers science and health stories. Contact Rexhere