Companies join in effort to create Mars simulations

Three Grand Junction companies will join in a project to map the desert around a simulated Mars research station and recreate the habitat in virtual reality.

AeroScout, Georanger and SynaptixGames will participate in what’s billed as the Mars VR Project at the Mars Desert Research Station in Utah. The companies bring to the effort their respective services in geospatial intelligence, three-dimensional mapping with drones and virtual reality gaming and simulations.

Created by Robert Zubrin, an engineer and founder of the Mars Society, the station offers a full-scale simulation in which scientists conduct experiments in the same ways they would on Mars — including wearing suits to work outside the station.

The Mars VR Project will map the area around the station to recreate the facilities and environment in virtual reality and in turn create training simulations for those working at the station. It’s expected the same techniques one day could be used on Mars. The simulations also will be available to members of the public to experience for themselves.

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