“NASA” challenges developers .. a competition to create a virtual environment for Mars

The International Space Agency, NASA, is challenging developers to create a virtual reality environment to help train astronauts for Mars missions, with prizes worth $70,000.
The US space agency has put out a call for “a new research, development and testing environment for virtual reality to help prepare for the experiences and situations you will encounter on Mars,” and NASA added, “The goal is to create an immersive, engaging and realistic experience.”
Officials partnered with virtual reality simulator developer Buendea and maker of Fortnite Epic Games for the scheme.
According to Russia Today, both companies have already partially completed a virtual version of Mars, and the virtual “Operation Support System” world is being developed on Epic Games’ Unreal Engine 5, which is a platform used by companies to host interactive experiences and virtual reality environments.
The program provided realistic conditions for the red planet’s gravity and weather and 154 square miles of terrain, and contains full Martian days with orange in the day shifting to blue in the night.
Developers were asked to display designs in five categories, research, exploration, camping, maintenance, and mind-blowing.
The overall winner in each category receives $6,000 (£4,800), with the $70,000 bet total distributed over 20 individual prizes, and the competition ends on July 26.
“We are seeking developers to create a new XR VR R&D and test environment to help prepare for the experiences and situations that will be encountered on Mars,” the organizers said.

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