Elon Musk’s space travel plans suffered a severe setback over the weekend when its Falcon 9 rocket exploded shortly after launch. The Falcon 9 was en route to the International Space Station carrying tonnes of supplies; among this were two pairs of Microsoft Hololens headsets with experimental software developed by NASA.
Details about the Hololens are already extremely light. While we have seen the carefully prepared presentations of Microsoft’s version of virtual reality, there has been no other leaks that would provide information about the real capabilities of the device. It is understood that NASA was hoping to use the Hololens to allow the space station crew share information with ground control. This was mostly due to being able to transmit video from the headset down to Earth where the engineers are.
The software, called Sidekick, would allow engineers to see what the astronauts are looking to assist in repairs and other tasks. It would also allow the ground crew to overlay detailed instructions directly into the field of the view of the astronaut.
Whether this system worked as intended will not be known now. The Falcon 9 suffered a failure in one of its oxygen tanks, which resulted in the rocket exploding in the sky. This is not the first rocket from Space X to have failed, and proves to be another setback for the company that aspires to commercialise spaceflight