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IBC: NASA, Harmonic Partner on Astronaut VR Experience

Complete Coverage: IBC 2016

Video delivery tech company Harmonic has partnered up with NASA to create an exclusive virtual reality video featuring astronauts training for space walks, with the 4K-quality video debuting at this week’s IBC conference.

The video was produced at NASA's Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory (NBL) in Houston and features three different perspectives of astraonauts training for missions to the International Space Station (ISS). The training facility features an indoor pool and a full-size replica of the ISS. The VR video and NASA’s Ultra High-Def (UHD) TV channel were created using Harmonic's UHD video delivery solution.

“When NASA Television was created, we knew that we had an incredible opportunity to provide the public with previously unseen footage of space exploration, training processes and live launches,” Fred Brown, executive producer of NASA Television, said in a statement. "Thanks to technology partners like Harmonic, NASA has been at the forefront of delivering amazing video experiences, including virtual reality and UHD.”

The video was produced in 4K but is also available on the NASA TV YouTube channel as a simple 360-degree video experience.

"Bringing together UHD and VR technology with NASA astronaut training footage, we're offering a truly spectacular experience that elevates immersiveness and viewer engagement to a completely new level," said Bart Spriester, senior VP of video products at Harmonic. "As video consumers look for new and exciting entertainment outlets, Harmonic and its technology partners are innovating with the mission to free viewers from the boundaries dominating traditional television and enjoy a 360-degree, 2160p60 first-of-its-kind video experience."