- HeroX, with Epic Games and Buendea, launched a new crowdsourcing competition.
- The NASA MarsXR 2 Challenge is a follow-up to the original NASA MarsXR Challenge.
- It seeks contributions and storyboard concepts for a Virtual Reality testbed environment that replicates the experiences and situations astronauts may encounter on the Red planet.
PRESS RELEASE — Houston / February 16, 2023 — HeroX, the leading platform and open marketplace for crowdsourced solutions, with Epic Games and Buendea, today launched a new crowdsourcing competition. The NASA MarsXR 2 Challenge is a follow-up to the original NASA MarsXR Challenge. It seeks contributions and storyboard concepts for a Virtual Reality testbed environment that replicates the experiences and situations astronauts may encounter on Mars.
To facilitate research, development, and testing using virtual reality, NASA, in collaboration with Buendea is developing the Mars XR Operations Support System using Epic Games’ Unreal Engine 5 (UE5). Challenge participants will be given access to a virtual reality environment simulating Mars, which includes:
- Full Martian days, with the orange hues of day transitioning to blue at night
- Simulation of Martian gravity
- Simulation of Martian weather conditions
- Over 400 km2 (approximately 154 Miles) of realistic Mars terrain
- Some existing assets, such as suits and rovers
Phase 1 will task participants with developing storyboard concepts of potential scenarios needed during early human expeditions to Mars. In Phase 2, participants will build out those scenarios in the virtual reality environment. These models can then be used to expose researchers and test subjects to immersive and realistic spacewalk activities while on the red planet. Information gained from these simulations could help NASA prepare for future human exploration of Mars.
“We are launching this sequel challenge to engage a greater number of thinkers and creators,” said Kal Sahota, CEO of HeroX. “We had a lot of success with the first challenge, and with this storyboard option, we expect even more innovative ideas and a broader audience of participants.”
“Whether a game designer, architect, hobbyist, rocket scientist, or creative with an expansive vision, anyone will enjoy exploring and building in the Mars XOSS Engine,” said Julian Reyes, the Founder of Buendea. “We can’t wait to see the immersive simulations this diverse community dreams up.”
The Challenge: The NASA MarsXR 2 Challenge asks the larger community to imagine and build out scenarios of tasks required for early human expeditions to Mars in a Virtual Reality Mars simulation.
The Prize: Up to 15 participants who submit the top ideas will share a total prize purse of US $70,000.
Eligibility to Compete and Win Prize(s): The prize is open to anyone aged 18 or older participating as an individual or as a team. Individual competitors and teams may originate from any country, as long as United States federal sanctions do not prohibit participation (some restrictions apply).
Featured image: Exploration NASA MarsXR 2 Challenge Seeks Extravehicular Simulation Solutions; Prize Purse of $70K. Credit: HeroX