PaleBlue Delivers Zero-G VR Project to ESA

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PaleBlue has finished Phase 2 in the Vogue project, Virtual Zero-G User Experience. Development of this unique simulator was started in January 2020, with the goal to develop a model and simulation of navigation in Zero Gravity using VR. Phase 1 of the project was previously delivered in 2020 and provided the basis for the improvement of physics, collisions, avatar navigation, and interactions. Read the article about Phase 1.

Towards the end of Phase 2, PaleBlue together with the European Space Agency conducted a demonstration session that included operations training and emergency evacuation.

Simultaneous training on the inside and outside of the ISS in VR
VR technology opens amazing perspectives for training in space – it can address the need for in-flight training on long-duration missions to e.g. Mars. It also provides new tools for training on the ground and on the ISS. We will continue to work with the European industry to select the best technology to train for the challenging tasks in space. Rudiger Seine, ESA Space Training Leader

PaleBlue simulator models Zero-G movement physics, intravehicular (IVA) and extravehicular (EVA) operations, multi-user training, and hand interactions. The International Space Station (ISS) has been modeled with interiors and exteriors for the project. SpaceX Crew Dragon has been modeled in order to exercise evacuation routines. The simulator allows to put an EVA spacesuit and lock-out to outer space, and train personnel on both inside and outside of the ISS at the same time.

ESA astronauts Luca Parmitano and Samantha Cristoforetti tested and validated the VR simulator

On October 2, 2021, the project was delivered to ESA’s European Astronaut Centre (EAC), in an event conducted by PaleBlue at the astronaut training quarters in Cologne, Germany. A multi-user testing has been conducted by EAC specialists, along with PaleBlue team members joining the VR training remotely. ESA has given very positive feedback on the system and its applicability in the human spaceflight sector.

I was very impressed by the power, quality, and realism of this tool. This unleashes large possibilities to discover, train, and get familiarised with ISS in Zero-G. ESA is truly looking forward to continuing with this project, pushing the simulator further, validating it in real conditions, and using it! Lionel Fierra, ESA Crew Technologies & XR-Lab lead
 Felix Gorbatsevich and Pascal Serrarens of PaleBlue, and Lionel Ferra of ESA EAC, with Covid-aware distancing
We are glad to find such a like-minded partner as ESA, with a strong focus on innovation. This allows us to combine ESA’s expertise in human spaceflight and PaleBlue’s competence in collaborative VR training. The resulting system is truly unique and brings VR training simulators to a whole new level, expanding the VR frontier – something that previously was not feasible. Felix Gorbatsevich, Managing Director of PaleBlue

ESA and PaleBlue have agreed to continue working together on a number of projects, including the further improvement of the VR Zero-G simulator. 

The development of this simulator has been co-funded by the Norwegian Space Agency and by Innovation Norway organization.

About PaleBlue
PaleBlue is an Industrial VR company, which has established a unique set of capabilities within 3D, VR, and multi-user experiences, used in simulation training environments. The company builds on 20+ years of experience track of building 3D and training simulation systems for the energy industry, including crane training, underwater robot simulators, drilling operation simulators, and more. 

About EAC
The European Astronaut Centre (EAC) was established in 1990 and is located near Cologne, Germany. EAC has established itself as a center of excellence for astronaut selection, training, medical support, and surveillance, as well as the support of astronauts and their families through preparation for and during flight.

About ESA
The European Space Agency is an intergovernmental organization of 22 member states dedicated to the exploration of space.