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  • Satellite Evolution Group

Falmouth University create ‘space for everyone’ with launch of Spaceport VR experience

  • Falmouth University has built a space-focused virtual reality experience

  • Users will be able to walk around the UK’s first licenced spaceport and witness the first launch.

  • The VR content is live on the meta site and will be available to visitors of the UK Space Agency’s Space for Everyone tour happening this Summer

Students at Falmouth University have developed a virtual reality experience to engage young people with space and STEAM careers and highlight the role of the arts within the sector. Proving that you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to work in the industry.

The VR content provides insight into life at the UK’s first licensed Spaceport, allowing users to enjoy a virtual journey through the facilities at Spaceport Cornwall and witness the first horizontal launch from the UK up close. Interacting with key figures in UK space, including British Astronaut, Tim Peake; Melissa Quinn, Head of Spaceport Cornwall for the first launch; and Flight Lieutenant Matthew “Stanny” Stannard, who was tasked with flying the converted Boeing 747 with the LauncherOne rocket attached.

The UK Space Agency provided £10,000 to support the development of Falmouth University’s VR experience with a view to help inspire and engage the next generation of space professionals and help sustain the future talent pipeline.

The project came together under the guidance of Project lead, Brian Waterfield, and the support of Naomi Johns. Working with an exceptional team of artists and developers from Falmouth University, with support from students at Truro and Penwith College, the team have captured the true essence of the launch.

The project provided students with a glimpse into a real work-life environment, fostered teamwork, skill development, agile application and supplied a supportive and mentoring atmosphere. Combining cutting-edge technology, captivating design, stunning visuals, and engaging animation to create an immersive experience that will captivate, educate and inspire users.

Contributors to the development of the VR include: 3D Artists, Elmo La Mantia, Tamsin Page, Lewis Knowles, Daniel Trueman, Alfie Hamblin and Sam Fereday; Programmers Tega Amrore, Alex Hristov, Hayley Davies and Zachariah Thomson; Animator, Joe Liggi; and Designers, Bogo Petrov, Ethan Baldwin and Jack Myrick.

The VR experience is live and accessible on the Meta website and, as well as being able to download at home, the public will be able to access the content by visiting any of the ten locations included in the UK Space Agency’s ‘Space for Everyone’ tour.

The ‘Space for Everyone’ tour will see events take place across the UK and Northern Ireland this summer, giving visitors the opportunity to learn about the diverse and varied career paths available to young people looking to enter the fast-growing space industry, and highlighting the vital role that space plays in our everyday lives. The VR experience will be a part of a wider array of activities and experiences on offer in each location.

The UK Space Agency’s ‘Space for Everyone’ tour is visiting Southampton, Swansea, Leicester, Bradford, Belfast, Aberdeen, Newcastle, Hull, Great Yarmouth and Hastings on between 1st June and 4th September.

A wide range of skills and knowledge are needed if we are to fully utilise space to its full potential. The arts is an area of expertise which people may not traditionally associate with space, but is an important part of the equation in terms of awareness and understanding of the benefits of space to our planet and its people.

Falmouth University’s VR spaceport tour will play an integral role in highlighting the opportunities within the space industry for people of all backgrounds.

Brian Waterfield, Head of Immersive Production, Falmouth University, said: “Through the power of collaboration, this talented team managed to capture the true essence of the launch, weaving a captivating narrative that resonates with users. The educational experience developed by this exceptional team stands as a testament to their collective creativity, dedication, and expertise.”

Ian Annett, Deputy CEO at the UK Space Agency, said: “Falmouth University’s virtual reality experience is an exciting resource for young people engaging with the Space for Everyone tour, giving them a chance to learn about the UK’s work in space in a new and exciting way. The UK Space Agency provided £10,000 to the project, which is an excellent example of how we need more than astrophysicists to build a thriving space sector. We also need artists, designers, educators and much more. There are opportunities for everyone, of all backgrounds and skills, to become space professionals and help sustain our future talent pipeline.”

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