(ETX Studio) – Thomas Pesquet will test a virtual reality-based system that gives the impression that the pedal is on the roads of France while you are 400 kilometers above Earth on the International Space Station. The Frenchman is scheduled to travel to the International Space Station on April 22, 2021, on a new 6-month mission.
Between two experiences, Thomas Pesquet will have to take care of himself in order to return to Earth after losing as little muscle mass as possible. For this, he intends to play sports and cycling in particular. The modern operation will help him pedal while he’s feeling fine on the ground, using an Oculus Quest virtual reality headset and technology developed by French startup Fit Immersion.
Every day, ISS members spend about two hours exercising, which is absolutely essential to keep their muscles in good shape in a weight-free environment. Today, however, virtual reality offers new perspectives and makes this activity even more attractive.
The idea is to be able to sport (or simulate) as it does on the ground even when you are very far away. Thus the system that has been put in place makes it possible to simulate a bicycle path on real roads. If everything went as planned, Thomas Pesquet would have a great pedal feel to the streets of Paris or even the streets of Saint Petersburg, but also to climb the Cole de la Genset, near Marseille, all over 400 kilometers upstream. Earth. Each session lasts about 30 minutes.
French startup Fit Immersion specializes in sports training based on capturing 360-degree video of a very real environment. Thanks to this technology, “teleportation” becomes possible during physical exercise. In addition to the helmet and in order to be able to properly record his performance, Thomas Pesquet will have a full set of custom equipment, such as pedals with a power meter.
Note that this will be one of 12 French experiments that Thomas Pesquet is running for the Center for the Development of Small Gravity and Space Operations (CADMOS) as part of this new mission.