NASA is looking for programmers to help create the Martian metaverse. The US space agency in collaboration with Epic Games and Buendea has initiated the NASA MarsXR Challenge. This program is dedicated to developers who want to help create experiences in the Martian metaverse using virtual reality (XR).
Developers have to come up with new resources and scenarios for the new Mars XR Operations Support System(XOSS) environment. They will use Epic Games’ Unreal Engine 5. Moreover, the Martian Metaverse Creation Challenge has prize money of $70,000 – divided into 20 individual distinctions. Creators, participating in the five categories, can create specific scenarios. There are four prizes up for grabs. The winner will get $6,000. NASA has already provided information about what a Martian day typically looks like – orange shades of day, blue night, and weather conditions, as well as 400km2 of realistic and detailed terrain.
About 25 teams and 266 innovators have signed up for participation in the challenge. The submission deadline is July 26, with the winner to be determined on September 27 after a two-month evaluation period.
Epic Games is highly regarded and popular for its Unreal Engine 5 – a revolutionary programming engine. It was used in Fortnite in the critically acclaimed Kingdom Hearts IV. The Unreal Engine 5 was recently supported by major investments – Sony invested $1 billion and another billion from Kiribi (the company that owns LEGO).