Launch space mission from smartphone with NASA’s 3D app


Smartphone and tablet users can experience the excitement of standing on the launch pad beneath NASA’s massive new rocket, the Space Launch System (SLS), the US space agency said in a statement.

Users can even launch the SLS from the top of their desk or off the floor, following the flight path with their phones.

Point the device up to see to the top of the rocket, or hold level to see the details of the solid rocket boosters and engines.

No matter where the user is, opening the scene viewer portion of the app shows what the device’s camera would see if it were at the launch pad with the huge SLS rocket setting up for liftoff.

Take a look at the scene from a catwalk on the mobile launcher, too.

“As soon as I saw that scene viewer, I think that is when we all knew we had something that people would enjoy and would be pulled into. It gives people the perspective of being at the launch pad,” said Andres Adorno, NASA’s project manager for the app.

Called NASA 3DV, the inventive app shows viewers 3D models of the Orion spacecraft and Space Launch System, the fixtures of NASA’s push to send astronauts on deep space exploration missions to an asteroid and eventually Mars.

“It gives a true feeling of the things being built that are to come in the future,” Adorno noted.

The app is available for iOS devices now and an Android-based version is already in the works.