First Manned Mission To Mars Is A Virtual One, And You Can Tag Along

Fusion Media Group revealed the Mars 2030 immersive VR experience, which it created in collaboration with NASA. Mars 2030 takes you to the Red Planet to explore the Martian landscape and gives you experience using the equipment that future Mars astronauts will rely on for their survival.

Fusion Media Group’s Mars 2030 is the first time we’ve seen the surface of Mars in VR. Steel Wool Studios released the Mars Odyssey experience in September, which takes you on a sight-seeing / maintenance tour of NASA’s past Mars Rovers. In Mars Odyssey, you get to visit the Viking 2 Lander, Pathfinder, Opportunity, and Curiosity where they rest on Mar’s barren desert surface. Mars 2030, on the other hand, takes you on an adventure to the future of Mars exploration.

“We’re thrilled to provide people with the opportunity to take their first steps on the surface of Mars without training to be an astronaut,” explained Julian Reyes, Director of VR/AR at FMG. “It has been such a privilege to work so closely with various NASA teams and their dedication to make this mission a reality is truly inspirational. By offering the most authentic experience possible, we hope a progressive audience of explorers will witness the awe of extraterrestrial travel and feel inspired back at home here on Earth.”

Fusion Media Group’s Mars 2030 experience features 15 square miles of photorealistic Martian surface constructed from reference material provided by NASA. Fusion Media Group used NASA’s orbital satellite data to recreate the topography of the planet accurately. (This is similar to what NASA and Microsoft did for the Mars HoloLens experience we saw last year.) NASA also provided Fusion Media Group details about the agency’s current spacesuit prototype, the Multi-Mission Space Exploration Vehicle (MMSEV) Rover, and the current design of the future Mars habitat installation. You’ll get to see firsthand what NASA is up to and how the next generation of astronauts will survive.

Fusion Media Group said the Mars 2030 experience would debut in July for the Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, and PlayStation VR at a cost of $15. The developer also plans to release a non-VR version of the game on PC. Fusion Media Group didn’t announce a non-VR version for PS4.

 Kevin Carbotte is a contributing writer for Tom's Hardware who primarily covers VR and AR hardware. He has been writing for us for more than four years.