Astronauts test out HoloLens in NEEMO underwater habitat

Kellogg Brengel

Astronauts test out HoloLens in NEEMO underwater habitat

Microsoft had previously hoped to get its latest holographic headset HoloLens in the hands of astronauts onboard the International Space Station in June. That attempt failed though when the SpaceX Falcon 9 unmanned rocket carrying supplies, scientific experiments, food, and two HoloLens, exploded midflight.

While HoloLens has still not boldly gone where no HoloLens has gone before, Microsoft’s latest efforts to get the holographic computing device in the hands of astronauts were recently detailed by

Since July 20th, crewmembers at NASA’s NEEMO lab (which stands for NASA Extreme Environment Mission Operations) have been testing out a prototype of the device while they train underwater for techniques that could be used for deep-space exploration.

NEEMO is a small habitat 45 feet underwater off the coast of Florida where astronauts simulate spacewalks and other missions which would be performed during the course of a manned trip to an asteroid or even Mars.

The commander of NEEMO and European Space Agency astronaut Luc Parmitano said:

“The underwater prototype, however, will still be valuable when a HoloLens makes it into orbit. We can learn about interaction between crewmembers and the ground control. We can learn about procedures and ways to make our work more effective.”

As WinBeta previously reported, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said in an interview with the BBC that HoloLens is on a 5 year journey, but they will be getting the first version out to developers and enterprises within the next year. As prototypes start getting used in real world applications by organizations like NASA, and the first version is put to the tests by developers and interested companies, hopefully this furthers the development cycle of future mass market versions of the augmented realty headset.

What applications do you think HoloLens is best suited for? How could you use one? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.