Astronauts onboard the International Space Station is using augmented reality software to help them repair the station. The augmented reality technology is part of a more significant attempt to minimize communications latency, a major issue for future lunar or Martian missions.

The T2 Augmented Reality (T2AR) experiment, according to NASA, demonstrates how astronauts can utilize augmented reality to check and repair scientific and exercise equipment. The equipment that the AR system supports is important for sustaining group health and meeting research objectives.

T2AR is the first time Microsoft's HoloLens technology has been used in space using bespoke augmented reality software. The technology enables the astronaut to execute maintenance and inspection tasks alone. The most recent experiment builds on the Sidekick experiment, which took place in 2016. The treadmill was the focus of the present technological demonstration. Still, the platform is meant to be used across several systems aboard the ISS.

Earth-Based Space Specialists Face Challenges Fixing Broken Parts in ISS

Earth-based space specialists are now having difficulty fixing broken tools in the large space stations because they are not stationed there. This is a big problem since they have all the necessary information to repair the equipment and systems.

They generally supervise repairs, making it more difficult for astronauts to obtain help on the International Space Station. As a result, the International Space Station (ISS) started using augmented reality software to provide ground crews with improved control over the damaged tools in space.

NASA's official blog post said the T2 Augmented Reality (T2AR) experiment illustrates how station crew members may examine and repair research and exercise equipment.

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How Microsoft HoloLens Augmented Reality Help NASA Astronauts in ISS

According to a recent article by Digital Trends, the new T2 Augmented Reality initiative employs Microsoft's HoloLens AR eyewear and NASA-developed software.

This advancement in space technology is intended to provide astronauts with more effective instructions and assistance when making repairs in orbit. The T2 Augmented Reality project seeks to load software with commands for various types of activities that may be accessible by the International Space Station crew.

New Augmented Reality Applications Assist Astronaut Repairs to Space Station
(Photo: NASA)
Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) astronaut Soichi Noguchi prepares to conduct routine maintenance on the T2 Treadmill while receiving procedures through his augmented reality goggles.

NASA's Johnson Space Center's ISS associate expert Bryan Dansberry explained that AR tools might help them provide the instructions for any emergency repairs needed to fix undesirable problems in various equipment to minimize space mission delays.

While International Space Station (ISS) will be decommissioned in 2024, NASA is making great strides in space after relying on rockets to sustain the EVE sun-observing equipment.

Astronauts Test Microsoft HoloLens Augmented Reality

Slash Gear said JAXA astronaut Soichi Noguchi has already put the International Space Station's latest space technology to the test.

Noguchi used both hands to wield tools and do maintenance tasks while wearing the HoloLens AR glasses, thanks to the T2AR technology. The astronaut used the AR glasses to get step-by-step instructions and indications for conducting the repair without glancing away from the work at hand.

European Space Agency astronaut Thomas Pesquet and NASA astronaut Megan McArthur also tested the new AR technology. At present, nine additional test missions are scheduled to be sent to the new ISS project to learn more about the safety and efficiency of employing AR software.

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