Buzz Aldrin wants to take you to Mars in VR

NASA is planning to get human beings up to the Red Planet at some point during the 2030s, but second-man-on-the-moon Buzz Aldrin wants to give everyone a taste of the trip before then, thanks to a VR movie called Cycling Pathways to Mars.

Aldrin has long been pushing for us to make the trip in the near future and worked with NASA on a Mars HoloLens experience last year. He hopes the new 10-minute movie will help push plans further forward.

"We explore or we expire," Aldrin said on stage at the SXSW festival earlier this week, and he appears as a narrator in the new VR experience, which is available now via Steam for the HTC Vive and is "coming soon" for the Oculus Rift.

Men on the moon

If you don't have an expensive virtual reality headset to your name, then you can at least view the 360-degree video trailer on YouTube. The movie details Aldrin's vision of how we can make the 140-million-mile trip and what we'll need to do when we get there.

The trip is going to take about six months each way and Aldrin thinks using the moons of Earth and Mars as stop-off points along the way will make the whole endeavor easier to plan and put into action.

There's a lot of work and research to be done before any of this is going to become a reality of course, but VR experiences like this one are likely to play an important role in prepping astronauts for the trip and giving the rest of us an idea of what life might be like on the Red Planet.

David Nield
Freelance Contributor

Dave is a freelance tech journalist who has been writing about gadgets, apps and the web for more than two decades. Based out of Stockport, England, on TechRadar you'll find him covering news, features and reviews, particularly for phones, tablets and wearables. Working to ensure our breaking news coverage is the best in the business over weekends, David also has bylines at Gizmodo, T3, PopSci and a few other places besides, as well as being many years editing the likes of PC Explorer and The Hardware Handbook.