With every leap forward for humanity arise new questions. The one facing us now is that how are we going to make astronauts venturing deep into space every passing day able to operate on their own. Because the farther the astronauts’ venture, the longer it would take for mission control to communicate with them.
One way to overcome cumbersome periods of communication is AR (augmented reality). The crew members at the ISS (International Space Station) have already made repairs using the same. This feat helps the astronauts become self-reliant, with little to no assistance needed when something breaks down or needs repairs, as all information required will be right in front of them.
As a part of the T2AR (T2 Augmented Reality), the crew members of the ISS have been testing this technique for months now. The main thought process behind the initiative is to provide real-time instructions, 3D cues, and instructional videos prepackaged into a Microsoft HoloLens so that they don’t need to ask for help from Earth and wait around for a reply. In addition, the handsfree design opted for the T2AR gives the individual operating over a repair a free hand to operate with more convenience.
Soichi Naguchi hailing from Japan used the AR to repair a treadmill onboard. The fix seems to be a low stake one, but it is a start. Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency’s (JAXA) astronaut did not rely on the pdf document to carry out the fix.
“The space station is the perfect platform to test out AR systems and refine these tools so they will be ready when future astronauts need them,” NASA associate scientist Bryan Dansberry stated
NASA sees AR as a crucial gamechanger and believes that the system can be of immense help for astronauts as they tread deeper into space, up to Mars and maybe, rather definitely beyond!