Bubbles on Mars: 360° play and performance on EVA

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We present human performance experiments and cultural engagement activities on EVA openly as new opportunities for examining interactions with our bodies, perceptions and the environment through virtual reality. Play as a research-through performance strategy helps us better explore, and adapt, to the new environment (serving the individual), it is a useful mode for supporting positive crew performance, cohesion and wellbeing (serving the mission), and a technical method for inspiring passive players (on site, or on Earth) to imagine a new world (serving the crew, mission and public). By streaming or post-processing 360° video data off-site audiences can experience the imaginative and technical parameters of planetary surface analogue simulation missions for example. From everyday yet nonetheless spellbinding phenomena such as blowing bubbles on Mars, the virtual reality capture interactions with MDRS analogue crew allows for the predictive analysis of physical and psycho-social and cultural behaviours of future crew on Mars in a range of scenarios. These cultural EVA interaction designs, and research-through-performance outcomes build on prior work to further demonstrate the benefits of creative and expressive playful processes in space-related environments including analogue simulations, in preparation for discovery in spaceflight. The 360° format further allows us to speculate on the application of this technology across three platforms: firstly the application of play and performance for enhancing mission training and extrapolating complex science on a human-scale; secondly, the application of immersive visualisation platforms and virtual reality to contribute new knowledge on performance and interactivity in extreme environments; and thirdly to speculate on the long-range technological application for reinforcing the human-factors benefits of a shared playful experience of good-old fashioned earthly fun.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the International Astronautical Congress, IAC 2018
PublisherInternational Astronautical Federation (IAF)
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2018
EventInternational Astronautical Congress (IAC) 2018 - Bremen, Germany
Duration: 1 Oct 20185 Oct 2018
Conference number: 69th
https://iafastro.directory/iac/browse/IAC-18/ (Proceedings)


ConferenceInternational Astronautical Congress (IAC) 2018
Abbreviated titleIAC-18
Internet address


  • Human Factors
  • Interaction Design
  • Performance
  • Space Culture
  • Virtual Reality

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