A doctor from the American space agency NASA made a virtual visit the International Space Station (ISS) after being “holoported” by technology.
Dr. Josef Schmid and several others took the virtual trip last October. NASA recently announced the results of the experiment.
The agency said it was the first time humans had been “holoported” from Earth to space. The term holoport is a combination of the words hologram and teleportation.
A hologram is an image produced by a computer and made of light. Hologram objects appear in a curved shape, not flat like other images. To teleport means to travel at extraordinary speed using special technology. However, such technology does not exist.
Holoport technology can project 3D models of people in any environment. This allows people physically present in the environment to see, hear and interact with the holoborne individuals.
The experiment at the ISS involved a computer, camera and special software developed by NASA and its industrial partner Aexa Aerospace. Special headsets allow those involved to interact with each other as if they were in the same shared space.
The camera used was the Kinect model, manufactured by the American software company Microsoft. The camera can be combined with the Microsoft HoloLens 2 headset.
While Microsoft has used holoportation technology for several years, NASA said this is the first time it has been used “in such an extreme and remote environment such as space.
Similar technology has been used to help doctors perform remote and telemedicine operations. Telemedicine is a way for people to talk to doctors and receive healthcare without having to go to a doctor’s office, treatment center or similar location.
Schmid described the technology as “a completely new way of human communication through vast distances. He said the process represents “a whole new way of exploring the human, where our human entity is able to travel off-planet.
During the experience, Schmid was able to speak with Thomas Pesquet, a European Space Agency astronaut aboard the ISS. Fernando De La Pena Llaca, director of Aexa Aerospace, and several members of the company’s technology team also participated in the holoportation event.
NASA said the technology demonstrates a new form of communication it plans to use in future space. assignments. This could allow people on Earth to be holoported into space, as well as sending astronauts on a virtual visit to Earth.
Schmid said the system could be used to arrange private medical visits, psychiatric and family reunions and to virtually bring important people to the space station to visit the astronauts. He added that the next step could be to combine holoportation with augmented reality technology.
Augmented reality, or AR, is a technology that can project computer-generated images onto headsets like HoloLens 2. The images appear in the headsets along with other physical objects in the environment. Augmented reality has been used to help guide workers through complex industrial processes.
“Imagine being able to bring the best instructor or the real designer of a particularly complex technology to your side, wherever you work on it,” Schmid said.
NASA said holoportation technology could greatly improve future deep space missions. He said one of the most important uses could be to provide better and more personal communication between astronauts and people on Earth. Communication may be necessary for medical or mission support reasons. And it could improve connectivity between astronauts in space and their families back home.
But NASA noted a possible challenge this could happen in future, planned missions to Mars. Technology systems will need to find a way to operate efficiently with communication delays of up to 20 minutes each way during the journey to and from Mars.
I am Brian Lynn.
Bryan Lynn wrote this story for VOA Learning English, based on reports from NASA, Axiom Space, Aexa and Microsoft.
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words in this story
virtual – adj. existing or occurring on computers or the Internet
3D (three-dimensional) – adj. having or appearing to have length, depth and height
remote – adj. goes very far
vast – adj. extremely wide
entity – nm something that exists independently of other things
assignment – nm a major project or trip, including space travel
psychiatric – adj. the study and treatment of mental illness
challenge – nm a difficult task or problem; something hard to do