I-Way Brings Virtual Reality to Lyon on the International Space Station

Published: 2018/07/31

Do you have what it take to repair the ISS before the air runs out?

 

The This is Lyon team took a trip up to I-Way in Lyon 9 to test our skills as astronauts. It’s safe to say things did not go to plan.

 

Once upon a time, in a galaxy far, far away, six astronauts were tasked with saving the universe from a red, fiery death. But who are these mysterious heroes?

It’s us! Your friendly, neighborhood This is Lyon team! You’re welcome for saving you from spontaneous combustion. It ain’t no thang!

Alright, alright, you caught us. So we didn’t save the universe from alien creatures come from the deep to destroy us. But we did take a trip over to I-Way up in Vaise to try out their virtual reality simulators!

We’ve seen the world from space and came back forever changed

I-Way, Lyon’s Very Own Virtual Reality Experience

I-Way, opened in June 2008 at 4 rue Jean Marcuit (Lyon 9), is one of the biggest virtual reality centers in the world, with race cars, motorcycles, and planes. For 40 minutes, visitors can enter a virtual world where they’re top-notch racers, fighter pilots, or even convicts trying to break free of one of I-Way’s seven escape rooms.

But we weren’t ready to stop with the skies. No, we were ready to walk where few men and women have walked before (or floated, perhaps?). We were ready to shirk the laws of gravity and test our luck at the mother of all escape games: Mission ISS Rescue.

6 team members. 40 minutes of oxygen. 1 chance to save the International Space Station and yourselves. Armed with our virtual reality helmets and joysticks, we went off into the darkness, and up into space.

Dropped into the station, we got our bearings and picked up the electronic watch that would be our duct tape of the space world. Need a tool? Find it in the watch. Need a map? Tap that watch. Need to talk to Houston? He’s there too, in…THE WATCH.

And so it was that with one click of the mythical watch we were whisked up, up, and away, out of the space station and into the expanse of our very own Milky Way.

mission iss rescue at i-way in lyon

The teams at MYOKEN and I-Way spent hours creating views like this, which feel all too real when inside the game. © I-Way

Mission ISS Rescue for Wannabe Astronauts

Mission ISS Rescue was developed specially for I-Way with the help of the virtual reality studio MYOKEN. Running at a rate of 90 images per second, the game gives participants a 360-degree view of the Earth from outerspace.

Our feet planted firmly on the ground in the virtual reality room, we flew around the space station, spiraling up into the universe and watching the daylight hit the silent world far below us.

But our eyes were quickly turned away from the magnificent view below us with a reminder of our impending doom: 30 minutes of oxygen left.

25 minutes later we were fading fast, doing our best to pressurize the oxygen tank after spending way more time than we should have rewiring the circuit board. Tanks pressurized, we moved on to the solar panels above us, hoping to replenish their energy reserves with the few moments we had left.

Each man and woman at his and her panel, we rotated the six panels to catch as much sunlight as possible. “I’m at 3 %!” “I have 10!” “17!” “23!” We yelled across the station, desperate in our last minutes of breath.

Our helmets started cracking.

players in the mission iss rescue virtual reality game at i-way in lyon

Mission ISS Rescue players are astronauts launched into space to fix the International Space Station before the oxygen runs out. © I-Way

“29! 33! No, 29 again!” “It’s going down!” We weren’t going to make it. We had failed at our mission. We stood together on the panels during our final moments as the clock ran down, thanking each other for a job almost well done. The world was turning red

Okay, so maybe we’re not meant to be astronauts, or to mess around with a highly technical space station while floating in zero-gravity space on a limited supply of oxygen. Perhaps the planes would have been more our style. To each their own, right?

But we did get to see the world from space in a game that felt real enough to make us forget our feet were still on the ground, and make us believe we were staring out at the universe, to infinity and beyond.

Mission ISS Rescue starts at €39 per person for a team of six while the motorcycles, planes, and cars start at €44. Sessions can be reserved on the website.

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