Travel to space for £40 with Oculus Rift

University of Surrey's Virtual Ride to Space will take you into the heavens, thanks to a rig of 24 GoPro cameras and a weather balloon

Only 536 people have ever been into space.

And unless you have US$250,000 to drop on a Virgin Galactic flight, you're not going to be joining them any time soon.

While you might not be able to strap yourself to a rocket, you'll soon be able to experience space travel for yourself – with the help of an Oculus Rift.

That's the plan behind Virtual Ride to Space, a project created by researchers from the University of Surrey. The plan is simple: launch a high-altitude balloon to 20km with a payload of 24 GoPro video cameras, recording a 360-degree panorama of its flight to the edge of space.

You'll then be able to don an Oculus Rift headset and relive the journey, looking around you as you ascend to the heavens. Because of the overlap between the 24 cameras, it'll even be rendered in 3D, though the effect will be more pronounced at lower altitudes.

Of course, if you don't have an Oculus Rift, you'll be able to view the trip on a computer or smartphone – but that's not really the same, is it?

Virtual Ride to Space is currently raising funds on Kickstarter, with a £30,000 (S$63,677) goal and 26 days still on the clock. To infinity and beyond!

[Image credit: NASA]

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