Microsoft's augmented reality headset is going to space

Hololens irlMatt WeinbergerThe HoloLens headset.

Microsoft’s HoloLens augmented reality headset is going to space thanks to a deal with NASA, according to Motherboard.

Astronauts on the International Space Station (ISS) will get a “Holographic Instruction Manual” courtesy of HoloLens, which has not yet been released to the public. The headset will also allow engineers on the ground to annotate what the astronauts are seeing.

Microsoft previously tried to send the headset to space in June but failed when the SpaceX shuttle that was carrying it blew up shortly after take off.

HoloLens works as a “mixed reality” device which adds holograms to real-life situations. For example, a Skype window can be attached to a wall.

Project OnSight MicrosoftMicrosoftProject OnSight would let scientists study Mars more easily.

Sending HoloLens to ISS may just be the first step into space. Microsoft has developed Project OnSight which could help those on Mars understand the planet better using the augmented reality applications of the headset. Whereas Mars has traditionally been looked at a screen, HoloLens could enable scientists to study the Red Planet just as geologists study Earth.

NASA is planning to launch the headsets — along with other cargo — into space later on this week.

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