Travel in space with real-time 3D app from NASA

NASA has released a new application that claims to allow users to travel in space, in real time, using 3D-imaging technology.

The space agency has considered space enthusiasts by releasing the application for free, and enabling it to be used on the iPhone and iPad platform. It provides a real time 3-D representation of the agency’s robotic spacecraft.

Called ‘Spacecraft 3D,’ the application employs animation techniques to demonstrate the manoeuvrability of NASA’s spacecraft. Some outside components of the spacecraft may also be manipulated using the application. NASA said that it was currently offering the 3D representation of two of its missions, The Curiosity rover that will land on Mars on August 6, and the twin GRAIL spacecraft, Ebb and Flow, which is orbiting the moon at present.

The application uses what is called ‘augmented reality’ to impart realistic features to the displayed image. The technology provides a view of real-world environment to the application’s users. Using the iPhone and iPad’s cameras, the Spacecraft’s 3D application clearly focuses information on the devices’ main screen.

It is expected that NASA will release the app for more platforms soon.

NASA said that Spacecraft 3D uses detailed computer models of the included spacecraft models. The application also allows users to navigate through space with a PC, using mission data from NASA.