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Read about the Orion spacecraft and its 360 video journey

On February 1st at Kennedy Space Center, Koncept VR had the rare opportunity to film the landing of NASA’s Jumbo jet, the “Super Guppy” in 360. The Super Guppy is by no means your typical aircraft with a 156 ft wingspan, it’s 143 ft long and 37 ft tall. It can carry a payload over 52,500lbs at 290 mph up to 564 miles. Viewing it in 360 (especially in VR) allows one to really transport themselves next to this enormous vehicle. However, it was what was inside the Super Guppy that is of particular importance, the pressure vessel for the Orion spacecraft selected to carry out Exploration Mission 1 (EM-1).

The opportunity to view this moment in 360 really helps the viewer to grasp the magnitude of the Super Guppy. The structure is so unusual and grandiose in nature it is difficult to translate via standard video production. After reviewing the footage we knew instantly that this story had to be told from a more cinematic angle. This heavily influenced our creative decisions – the music we chose, the use of a time lapse, subtle transition from day to night – all of which were to emphasize the prestige associated with this event.


After the Super Guppy’s arrival to Kennedy Space center it was transported to the Neil Armstrong Operations and Checkout Building to be combined with the spacecraft’s remaining components. The Super Guppy is often used to deliver large components to NASA’s various centers across the nation. It has been used several times in the past to transport Orion components to the agency’s centers. NASA has stated that Orion is part of a larger plan for the agency to send astronauts to the surface of Mars in the 2030s. The arrival of the pressure vessel for the Orion spacecraft has allowed the assembly of the spacecraft’s various systems to really get moving.


The EM-1 mission is a planned 21-day circumlunar mission to test out the vehicle before actually sending a crew aboard. One of the first goals that the Orion spacecraft is set to carry out is to transport a boulder from an asteroid by an uncrewed spacecraft and be ferried to lunar orbit. After this is accomplished, NASA will launch crew on Orion via the Space Launch System Booster.

If the timeline continues to go as planned, NASA officials have stated that Exploration Mission 1 (EM-1) should launch in late 2018. A huge thank you to the Lockheed Martin for giving us access to such a memorable and important moment. We really look forward to continuing to follow the Orion program in 360 throughout the years to come.

You also may be interested in:


Rocket Launch 360 – VR Experience 

The Edge of Space – VR Documentary 


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