Canadian Space Agency astronaut David Saint-Jacques floating with the Space Camera on the ISS. (Photo courtesy of Felix and Paul Studios.)
What if you could experience what life is like on the International Space Station (ISS) right from Earth?
In commemoration of the 20th anniversary of human presence on the ISS, a new immersive show will be released documenting life on board the station. Space Explorers: The ISS Experience will be a four-part series that can be viewed via 360-degree mobile format on 5G-enabled tablets and smartphones as well as through virtual reality on the Oculus Store for RIFT, Quest, and Quest 2. The series was created and produced by Emmy award-winning immersive entertainment producers Felix & Paul Studios, in partnership with TIME Studios. The show is the first of its kind and is currently dubbed as the largest production to ever be filmed in space.
The series will chronicle the lives of eight astronauts who experienced life-changing missions aboard the ISS. The world premiere of the first episode, “ADAPT,” last October 22 featured astronauts Anne McClain, David Saint-Jacques, Christina Koch and Nick Hague arriving on the ISS and dealing with zero gravity. The 24-minute episode was filmed through the collaboration of the ISS U.S. National Laboratory, NASA, and the Canadian Space Agency, plus other agencies under the ISS. To celebrate the continued efforts of Canada and the United States in space travel, exploration and scientific research, “ADAPT” will also be premiered via 360-degree fulldome format at major planetariums this November, including Colorado’s Fiske Planetarium, Montreal’s Rio Tinto Alcan Planetarium, Calgary’s Telus Spark Science Center, Halifax’s Discovery Centre, and Edmonton’s Telus-World of Science.
Space Explorers was shot over the course of two years using Felix & Paul Studios’ specialized 3D, 360-degree virtual reality Space Camera. Over 200 hours of high-end virtual reality footage and 18 hours of exclusive astronaut logs and interviews were produced. In addition to that, viewers will be able to see the ISS, planet Earth, as well as spacewalks in cinematic virtual reality.
“Over the past 20 years, very few people have journeyed to the International Space Station. Through the power of immersive storytelling, we can now bring hundreds of millions of spectators aboard this extraordinary spacecraft that circles the Earth at 17,000 miles per hour, to experience how astronauts live and to marvel at the beauty of Earth seen from Space,” said Félix Lajeunesse, cofounder of Felix & Paul Studios and director of the Space Explorers series. “After two years of filming and over 200 hours of footage captured aboard the Space Station in 360-degree 3D virtual reality, it is truly gratifying to share this experience with viewers around the world.”
Jonathan Woods from TIMES Studio, who worked as the executive producer on the show, also shared that the filmmakers hope audiences will “come closer to understanding what it means to be an astronaut living and working in space.”
TIME has also released a special episode of TIME100 Talks alongside the first episode of Space Explorers to talk further about the future of space exploration. The episode includes Lajeunesse, NASA astronauts Anne McClain and Chris Cassidy, actor John Cho, humanitarian Eddi Ndopu, and SpaceX President Gwynne Shotwell.
For more news and stories, check out how NASA’s Roman Space Telescope will unveil undiscovered planets here.