Tuesday, July 27

BITM and ISRO in talks to offer visitors live lift-off thrill

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In a couple of years, people could virtually watch the launch of rockets and spacecrafts from a gallery off Gurusaday Road in the heart of south Kolkata.

Birla Industrial & Technological Museum (BITM) is in advanced stage of talks with Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) to set up an augmented reality-enabled space gallery that will give visitors the same view and thrill of watching lift-offs live from India’s launch station at Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh.

“The proposal to set up a space gallery at BITM Kolkata was placed before ISRO this April. From the talks we have had so far, ISRO is willing to sponsor the project. It will cost around Rs 5.5 crore to set up two galleries — one in Kolkata and the other in Patna. The proposal has been forwarded to the department of space. If the project is approved within the next three months, the gallery should be up and running in two years,” said BITM director, VS Ramachandran.

Visitors will have to don special glasses to view the lift-off in 3D.

Once the project is approved, the next rocket to lift off from the barrier island off the Bay of Bengal coast will be recorded to create the virtual reality for the BITM gallery.

“Apart from recording the video of lift-off, a software has to be developed with data from ISRO to give visitors the real feel. This will take augmented reality-based experience to the next level,” said Ramachandran.

BITM has recently introduced a Digital Adventure Gallery to mark its 60th year. The 2,500sqft gallery offers visitors the experience of scuba diving and under-sea travel.

“Viewers can get the feel of standing on a glacier in Iceland and mingling with penguins or pat a dolphin as it jumps out of water. The Digital Adventure Gallery makes it all possible,” said the director.


Source: Times of India

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