This bus is taking kids somewhere way better than school. Enter, Mars.
The magic behind the virtual reality trip to the Red Planet comes from aerospace technology and defense company Lockheed Martin and a team of wizards at Framestore VR Studio. The two teamed up as part of the Generation Beyond program, a national education initiative with a mission to “inspire the next generation of innovators, explorers, inventors and pioneers to pursue STEM careers.”
Stepping on board, students experience a ride unlike any other as they travel across 250 square miles of Mars’ surface, seeing the martian environment straight through the windows as if they were actually there. Every movement of the bus, from the speed and turns to hitting a bump on the road, is exactly what they see and feel on the planet. There’s no headsets or googles either, just a completely immersive experience.
“I think what makes it magical is that when the bus starts moving all of the hardware and software disappears and it just feels like you’re on Mars,” said Sue McNamara, a senior producer at Framestore.
The high-tech bus will tour across the U.S. to provide other students with a chance to virtually visit the planet.
“This is the generation that will walk on Mars, explore deep space and unlock mysteries that we can’t yet imagine,” said Lockheed Martin Chair, President, and CEO Marillyn Hewson. “They won’t get there alone. It is our job to prepare, inspire and equip them to build the future – and that’s exactly what Generation Beyond is designed to do.”
Check out the video below to learn how these tech magicians created the out-of-this-world bus and to see the excitement on these kids’ faces as they travel through Mars!