Viveport Review: Go For Launch: Mercury
Without becoming an astronaut, Go For Launch: Mercury is without question the best way to experience outer space with both feet firmly planted on Earth.
By Desmond Madison, Greenlit Content
The power of education in virtual reality is still something being explored by content creators and educators across the globe. From visiting the Titanic before its fateful iceberg crash, to exploring the Amazon rainforest to see a world that few will ever get to experience in their lifetime, virtual reality offers us the opportunity to recreate experiences of historical significance that few other mediums can truly offer the world at large.
When it comes to space exploration, one must consider that there are nearly seven and a half billion people on earth. Of that number of people on the planet, only an estimated 536 extraordinarily brave, talented, and fortunate human beings have managed to reach the orbit of the Earth. This means that less than a fraction of a fraction of a percent of the population of Earth will ever get to experience the majesty and wonder of space flight. On top of that, the history of space travel is one that is fraught with trial, error, heroism, and incredible ingenuity that makes for a very difficult history lesson unless students are somehow able to experience what early space travel was like first hand. With today’s technology and the power of virtual reality, Go For Launch: Mercury accomplishes just that, and offers a profound recreation of the pioneering experience of the Mercury Seven spaceflight.
Originally a modest Indiegogo project aiming to bring this experience to VR for educational purposes, the project has come a long way and now features seven complete playable missions from the Mercury program, including Freedom 7, which was originally cancelled. Experiences like this allow you to actually feel what it was like to squeeze into these iron titans of science and engineering responsible for launching the first Americans into space.
The level of detail across all seven fully interactive spacecraft helps paint the picture of what it was truly like to boldy go where no American had ever gone before. Students can even see the gradual improvements in design, as each spacecraft was built in succession with more and more improvements. Following strict and historically accurate instructions, pilots can recreate launch at the controls with a level of unparalleled authenticity. Even the launch pads are recreated in extreme detail. You can move the camera outside during the ride skywards, to get a peek at the detailed Earth below as your ship begins to leave the atmosphere. It’s an incredible sight to see, and one that may be finding its home in museums across the nation one day as the virtual reality medium continues to recreate history with such impressive detail.
For space enthusiasts, teachers, students and history aficionados, experiences like Go For Launch: Mercury are what sets VR apart from any other medium. Suit up, strap in, and set your sights to the skies. Don’t miss your chance to relive history in a way that only virtual reality can offer.