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US military develops virtual 'Space' to train troops to work on satellites

US military develops virtual Space to train troops to work on satellites

Source: The Washington Post

The US military has developed a game-fied training platform with a virtual reality interface that enables employees to interact with replicas of national security satellites, The Washington Post (TWP) reported. The US Space Force, a branch of the US military, works with the government contractor, SAIC, to develop the platform that sends space mission operators to places through the virtual reality interface, reads the report.

The platform lets the armed forces practice - responding to missile warning, repairs in satellites, and repositioning spacecraft. They can gather information about a space mission before a space trip.

The cloud-based platform could be updated over-the-air and deployed on a mass scale, which gives a video game-like experience. The user, who will be in cyberspace with colleagues, could role-play as astronauts in an international space station or a mission control centre. Space Force troops could choose predesigned avatars and enter into the virtual lobby where they meet their colleagues. Toggles on gaming controls allow the troops to pick items, draw images in mid-air and use laser pointers to spotlight specific areas. "We wanted the experience (to feel) like you were actually there," John Lynch, program director for SAIC, told TWP.

Also, TWP reports that according to Pentagon, the US Space Force's primary purpose for the platform is to improve national security capabilities through space and protecting the US's fleet of advanced military satellites. "They're not exactly rehearsing how to destroy alien spaceships," the TWP news report reads.

The contract with SAIC is made to create virtual replicas of space stations, mission control rooms and satellites, which would cost millions of dollars to make real ones. The virtual interface would significantly reduce the expense, streamline operations, and train teams on what to expect on a space mission.

The satellite training platform is one of the latest projects from SAIC, a technology support company based at Reston in Virginia. According to the TWP report, the company planned to update the platform with more tools and augmented reality where real-world screens wrapped in a virtual environment.

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TAGS:United StatesScienceVirtual reality
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