Astronauts on the ISS train with VR headsets


VR-Fitness in space: Astronauts on the ISS train with VR headsets

Image: HTC

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A VR cycling experience in space: HTC helps astronauts on the ISS to stay fit and maintain their muscles.


The Vive Focus 3 VR headset is being used to improve the physical health of astronauts on the International Space Station (ISS). The combination of the VR headset and a zero-gravity ergometer developed by the Danish Aerospace Company is designed to provide a visually and physically coordinated training experience while cycling.

In the accompanying VR experience, the landscape changes in response to the cycling astronauts’ movements. In addition, fitness information is sent to the ergometer via Bluetooth to continuously adjust the resistance.

The VR environment features five different cycling routes filmed in Denmark, including Loekken, Silkeborg, Svanninge Bakker, Odense Aasti and the Copenhagen Lakes.


VR for mental and physical health in space

The HTC Vive Focus 3 was prepared for use on the ISS late last year. The sterile environment and isolation of the space station can take a toll on astronauts’ mental health, so a trip into Virtual Reality can be a welcome break.

In collaboration with XRHealth and Nord-Space Aps, HTC has adapted an HTC Vive Focus 3 to the demands of space. In addition to VR therapy for mental balance, there is now a VR experience for physical fitness.

According to British space expert Jeremy Curtis, astronauts can lose up to 40 percent of their muscle mass and 12 percent of their bone mass after five months in space. Upon returning to Earth, they typically need up to 12 months of physical rehabilitation to regain full fitness. For this reason, two hours of physical training per day is mandatory in space.

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Sources: HTC


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