Virtual reality Space Invaders – played in space!

Date:23 March 2016 Author: Nikky Knijf

Life at the International Space Station is not all work. When astronauts Scott Kelly from NASA and Tim Peake from the ESA tested Project Sidekick, a new augmented reality project that enables mission control (the team back on Earth) to assist astronauts with projects, they came across a virtual reality version of the classic Space Invaders video game.

Peake explains: “Sidekick creates a virtual-reality world on the International Space Station so we can ‘drop’ markers, procedures or documents in one location and they will still be there if we leave the module to return later. Ground control can come into our virtual world and we can use it for doing tasks together – for example the VR world can point out exactly what switches to flip or which screws to loosen, handles to turn and even guide us to storage locations. The game was just a bit of fun where Scott and I were being attacked by aliens from all over the place and we fired our canons by squeezing our fingers together. We had to dodge their missiles hence a lot of ducking and weaving going on…much fun!”

“The special effects were added later and no astronaut (or aliens) were harmed in the making of this video,” NASA wrote.

Watch the video above to see astronauts playing Space Invaders.

Video credit: NASA/ESA