By Evan DeSimone
Fusion, the millennial-focused joint media venture between Disney and Spanish-language broadcaster Univision, is diving into virtual reality again with “The Mars 2030 Experience,” an immersive interactive experience that will simulate a proposed manned mission to Mars.
Fusion’s creative team will work with experts from both NASA and MIT’s Space Systems Laboratory to recreate the experience of the space agency’s proposed mission to the Red Planet. TBased on real data, the experience will simulate real technologies currently being developed for the long-term space mission. MIT grad student Sydney Do will contribute research to the project, which will consist of a series of mini-missions simulating the challenges real life astronauts would face both in the Mars habitat and on the planet’s surface.
This is Fusion’s latest foray into immersive video content. It previously dabbled in virtual experiments such as an episode of its popular “Chris Gethard Show” shot in 360-degree video, and earlier this month the company inked a deal with its frequent virtual collaborator, Littlstar VR, to help produce, host, and distribute new immersive content.
Fusion SVP and Chief Digital Office, Daniel Eilemberg, explained the company’s growing commitment to virtual reality and immersive content in a statement: “People today expect more out of their media than just words on a page or video on a site, so we set out to bring Mars to our audience through an innovative and immersive way using the latest virtual reality technology. With the help of NASA our team has been able to create a rendering of the first human explorers on Mars that is as true to reality as the brightest minds know it, enabling users to experience the Red Planet in a highly engaging way.”
Scheduled to debut at South By Southwest 2016, “The Mars 2030 Experience” will be Fusion’s biggest virtual reality undertaking to date. Fusion’s VR chief Julian Reyes will lead the project, which will feature an original soundtrack provided by the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra for added gravitas.