Five Senses in Space

How do we galvanize public and private support for space exploration?

To advance into space ever more quickly and in new ways, it needs to be taken out of the realm of the hero and into the realm of the common person.

Space exploration seems so remote and advanced as to be inaccessible to most people. Everyone should see the career possibilities in many fields connected to space exploration and be able to imagine themselves – or their children – living and working in space. We need to humanize space, to familiarize it, to make it more possible and personal. We will create a small, space-flight-ready suite of instruments to act as our proxy, exploring the Earth. But humans are multisensory beings, so to truly experience and explore, we need to engage all five senses.

Project Goals


"Holodeck for Everyone"
We will create a small, spaceflight-ready suite of instruments to act as our proxy, exploring Earth. But humans are multisensory beings, so to truly experience and explore, we need to engage all five senses. Back at home, the Five Senses will combine research and education to expose and prepare more of society for humankind in space via a highly immersive and collaborative virtual environment (“Holodeck for Everyone”) that makes use of the data collected.

Bringing the space experience down to Earth
By making space understandable and relatable, we can help to engage the public to drive excitement for space exploration.

Key Accomplishments

Launching student-built payloads into space
ASU has partnered with Blue Origin and NanoRacks to launch three undergraduate student designed and constructed payloads aboard a New Shepard suborbital rocket in late 2018. These payloads include instrumentation to capture elements of the senses in space that the students will use to convey the experience here on the ground.

Life on Mars
This subset of the “holodeck” effort combines art and science to create an interactive, immersive, mult-isensory experience for people to feel what it might be like to live on Mars in the year 2175.

Planetary Visor Software
This virtual reality (VR) experience immerses you in rich scientific data, gathered by NASA instruments on Mars. Users can walk along the Martian terrain, following the path of the Curiosity rover, and perform scientific analysis with spectral comparison tools that aid in answering important questions about Martian geology. https://meteor.ame.asu.edu/projects/planetary-visor/

M.O.R.I.A
The goal of MORIA project is to engage the public and gain support for space exploration by creating a virtual and physical multi-sensory environment, incorporating as many of the senses as possible, for the experiencer to be immersed in what it might truly be like to live and work on Mars.

Smell Engine
In order to bring the sensory experiences of space down to earth we must have fully immersive, perceptual technology. To this aim, we are developing a Virtual Reality smell engine that links mathematically-generated olfactory cues with virtual visual, auditory, and haptic senses.

People 

Cassie Bowman
Associate Research Professor, School of Earth and Space Exploration, ASU

Judd Bowman
Associate Professor, School of Earth and Space Exploration, ASU

Laurence Garvie
Research Professor, Center for Meteorite Studies, ASU

Geoffrey Gonsher
Professor of Practice, School of Public Affairs/College of Public Service and Community Solutions, ASU

Robert LiKamWa
School of Arts, Media and Engineering, School of Electrical, Computer and Energy Engineering, ASU

Tanya Harrison
Director of Research, NewSpace Initiative/Post-doctoral Scholar, School of Earth and Space Exploration, ASU

Danny Jacobs
Assistant Professor, School of Earth and Space Exploration, ASU

Judie Lyon
Philantropist, ASU Women & Philantropy

Brian H. Smith
Trustees of ASU Professor, School of Life Sciences, ASU

Victor Surovec
Program Coordinator, MKRspace, ASU

Cathy W. Swan
President, SouthWest Analytic Network, Inc.

Peter A. Swan
President, International Space Elevator Consortium/Partner, Zodiac Planetary Services

Roy Wasson Valle
Graduate Student, Herberger Institute, ASU

Karin Valentine
Media Relations and Marketing Manager, School of Earth and Space Exploration, ASU

Alireza Bahremand
School of Arts, Media and Engineering & School of Electrical, Computer and Energy Engineering ASU

Kathryn Powell
School of Earth and Space Exploration, ASU

Rick Gerkin
School of Life Sciences, ASU

Katherine Yagel
School of Earth and Space Exploration, ASU

Phil Weaver-Stoesz​​​​​​​
School of Film, Dance and Theatre, ASU​​​​​​​

Lauren Gold 
​​​​​​​School of Arts, Media and Engineering, ASU