The Spacecraft 3D application allows users to learn about and interact with iconic NASA missions in a new and immersive way using common mobile devices (see figure). Using Augmented Reality (AR) techniques to project 3D renditions of the mission spacecraft into real-world surroundings, users can interact with and learn about Curiosity, GRAIL, Cassini, and Voyager. Additional updates on future missions, animations, and information will be ongoing.
Using a printed AR Target and camera on a mobile device, users can get up close with these robotic explorers, see how some move, and learn about these engineering feats, which are used to expand knowledge and understanding about space.
The software receives input from the mobile device’s camera to recognize the presence of an AR marker in the camera’s field of view. It then displays a 3D rendition of the selected spacecraft in the user’s physical surroundings, on the mobile device’s screen, while it tracks the device’s movement in relation to the physical position of the spacecraft’s 3D image on the AR marker.
This work was done by Kevin J. Hussey, Paul R. Doronila, Brian E. Kumanchik, Evan G. Chan, and Douglas J. Ellison of Caltech; and Andrea Boeck and Justin M. Moore of Mooreboeck Inc. for NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.. For more information access: