Bradley University student Zach Bachmann never knew he would be an astronaut
“I’m short, blind and asthmatic, so I can’t really be an astronaut if I wished to,” he said.
But a lifelong interest in video games and computers is putting him at the center of a nationwide effort to boost new space helmet technology for the next generation of astronauts going to the moon and, someday NASA hopes, to Mars.
“I’ve always been into sci-fi and tech, so it sounded like this was kind of a cool project,” Bachmann told our source.
That “cool project” is NASA’s Spacesuit User Interface Technologies for Students, or S.U.I.T.S Design Challenge, which allows college students to design information displays astronauts could see without obstructing their view of what’s in front of them.
“You still see the world around, but you would just have overlays,” said Bachmann’s teammate, Abby Irwin. That means, she said, “the vitals would be an overlay, but they would still see the moon or whatever they are working on.”
In a report by VOA, Irwin is a design lead on Bradley’s S.U.I.T.S. team, which uses the latest Microsoft HoloLens to create and test their ideas. According to Microsoft, the HoloLens is a virtual reality headset that allows the wearer to see 3-D holographic images.
“We kind of got examples from flight software that pilots use and train with, but we also got like some ideas from the game Skyrim, how they do navigation in video games,” she said.