NASA App Lets You Explore the Stars Using VR

Most government apps are designed practicality in mind, typically with the goal of giving people useful information from agencies.  

NASA released two new apps on Wednesday[1], and both are geared more toward fun than function. Both apps were created as part of the 15th-anniversary celebration of NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope. 

The first app, Exoplanet Excursions, is a virtual reality app for Oculus and HTC Vive headsets. It will also be available through the Spitzer mission website[2].

It’s a 3D experience that has users fly through the Trappist-1 system, a star system similar to our own solar system. The app uses a combination of data gathered from Spitzer Telescope and artists’ drawings to showcase some of the planets in the Trappist-1 system.

“Users of the app are navigated around five of the seven planets, surrounded by the blackness of space and the faint lights of distant stars,” NASA said in a press release.

The other new app, NASA Selfies, is designed for Android and iOS. It lets users take pictures of themselves in front of beautiful, well-known objects in space, such as the Orion Nebula. Users can then share these space selfies on social media.


  1. ^ released two new apps on Wednesday (
  2. ^ Spitzer mission website (

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