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Microsoft HoloLens doesn’t make it to ISS as SpaceX resupply mission fails

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Microsoft’s HoloLens was expected to arrive at the International Space Station along with quite a few other scientific instruments and supplies through SpaceX resupply mission, but as the rocket blew up just minutes after takeoff, the astronauts and Sidekick project will have to wait a few more days.

NASA has partnered with Microsoft to develop a new project dubbed Sidekick to empower the astronauts aboard the International Space Station by providing them with assistance when and where they need it. The project uses Microsoft’s HoloLens to provide virtual aid to astronauts working on the ISS. A couple of HoloLens units were scheduled to arrive at the ISS through SpaceX’s seventh commercial resupply mission, but owing to the explosion mid-air just minutes after launch, the virtual reality headsets won’t make it to the space station.

The primary goal of the Sidekick project is to enable station crews with assistance when and where they need it. This new capability could reduce crew training requirements and increase the efficiency at which astronauts can work in space.

“Microsoft HoloLens is about transforming the ways you create, connect, and explore,” said Alex Kipman, technical fellow, Windows and Devices Group at Microsoft. “Sidekick is a prime example of an application for which we envisioned HoloLens being used – unlocking new potential for astronauts and giving us all a new perspective on what is possible with holographic computing.”

NASA and Microsoft engineers tested Project Sidekick and the Microsoft HoloLens aboard NASA’s Weightless Wonder C9 jet to ensure they function as expected in free-fall in advance of their delivery to the microgravity environment of the space station.