First ‘holoported’ humans arrive at space station as NASA says tech vital for future missions

NASA has revealed that in October 2021 it “holoported” medical professionals from earth into space to carry out consultations with astronauts in the first transmission of its kind.

The US space agency used Microsoft’s Hololens Kinect camara and a PC with custom software from Aexa Aerospace to “holoport” NASA flight surgeon Dr. Josef Schmid [pictured above], Aexa CEO Fernando De La Pena Llaca, and their teams to the International Space Station.

European Space Agency astronaut Thomas Pesquet had a two-way conversation with live 3D images of Schmid and De La Pena in the middle of space station.

This is the first time that real-time, two-way communication with three dimensional representations of people has been carried out in space.

On the NASA website, Schid said: “This is completely new manner of human communication across vast distances. Furthermore, it is a brand-new way of human exploration, where our human entity is able to travel off the planet. Our physical body is not there, but our human entity absolutely is there. It doesn't matter that the space station is traveling 17,500 mph and in constant motion in orbit 250 miles above Earth, the astronaut can come back three minutes or three weeks later and with the system running, we will be there in that spot, live on the space station.”

NASA says it will use this type of communication technology more extensively on future missions with plans to extend it further by combining it will augmented reality.  “We'll use this for our private medical conferences, private psychiatric conferences, private family conferences and to bring VIPs onto the space station to visit with astronauts,” added Schmid.

“Imagine you can bring the best instructor or the actual designer of a particularly complex technology right beside you wherever you might be working on it. Furthermore, we will combine augmented reality with haptics. You can work on the device together, much like two of the best surgeons working during an operation. This would put everyone at rest knowing the best team is working together on a critical piece of hardware,” Schmid said.  

Image Credit: ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Thomas Pesquet



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