Edition: English | 中文简体 | 中文繁体 Монгол
Homepage > Sci Tech Video

VR applied in astronaut training


10-19-2016 04:31 BJT

Full coverage: China Tiangong-2 Space Lab Launch

To successfully complete space missions, astronauts have to go through numerous on-ground training that simulates the conditions of outer space.

The fast developing Virtual Reality technology is also being used in practice, providing a new means of training that overcomes the limitations of ground simulation, and much resembles the real circumstances.

This VR headset is being applied here in the training center for astronauts. Putting on the device, one can feel that they are floating in outer space, while below at their feet is the spacecraft.

"VR can quickly build a space environment, especially one of zero gravity and simulating operations. This cannot be realized with the current on-ground equipment. And it is why this technology can offer a realistic experience to astronauts and ground support crew," said Chao Jiangang, director, China Astronaut Training Simulator Research.

What's displayed on the screen is a simulated scene of the Tiangong-2 space lab.

"What you see from the headset is more real than what’s displayed on the screen. This is because the screen is flat, while the headset offers a 3D effect," Chao said.

"In this way, the profoundness, and the sense of space can be reproduced in a much more real way. Now you walk towards the gate, and use the console to open the gate."

VR is a technology that has gone through rapid development in recent years. It is supplementary to the on-ground simulation in training astronauts.

"As it is a simulation of reality, it can quickly build situations in which malfunctions occur, such as malfunctions both inside and outside the capsule," Chao said.

"Astronauts can have a better experience due to its quick construction of scenes. During the launch, we can use VR to quickly build a system simulating the spacecraft in flight. By doing so, the ground support crew can know the basic conditions of the spacecraft, and have instant communication with astronauts concerning technical issues."

The research center says that the VR training system is not only a simple operating system for space walks and navigation purposes. It also provides astronauts with a simulated interaction with the machine. This will make them even more familiar with the equipment on the spacecraft and can be an important factor to a successful mission.

Follow us on

  • Please scan the QR Code to follow us on Instagram

  • Please scan the QR Code to follow us on Wechat