Microsoft HoloLens Destroyed In SpaceX Launch Explosion – Forbes

Hololens NASA

Engineers test Project Sidekick on NASA’s Weightless Wonder C9 jet. (NASA)

 

After announcing NASA NASA as a HoloLens partner at its Windows 10 launch event back in January, Microsoft Microsoft revealed genuine plans to send its AR headset into space last week.

“Sidekick uses Microsoft HoloLens to provide virtual aid to astronauts working off the Earth, for the Earth. A pair of the devices is scheduled to launch on SpaceX’s seventh commercial resupply mission to the station on June 28,” read an official press release.

However, the HoloLens headsets loaded onto to the Falcon 9 rocket, as part of the SpaceX Commercial Resupply Services 7 (CRS-7) mission, never reached the International Space Station. The rocket suffered, according to NASA’s Twitter Twitter account, “an anomaly”.

Here’s what Microsoft’s CEO had to say…

The SpaceX CRS-7 Falcon 9 rocket lifted off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station carrying a Dragon spacecraft on Sunday, but broke up in a fiery blast just minutes later.

“We are disappointed in the loss of the latest SpaceX cargo resupply mission to the International Space Station,” said David Weaver, NASA’s associate administrator for communications.

“However, the astronauts are safe aboard the station and have sufficient supplies for the next several months. We will work closely with SpaceX to understand what happened, fix the problem and return to flight. The commercial cargo program was designed to accommodate loss of cargo vehicles. We will continue operation of the station in a safe and effective way as we continue to use it as our test bed for preparing for longer duration missions farther into the solar system.”

It’s definitely a blow for Microsoft’s PR ambitions. Just think how cool the footage of astronauts playing Minecraft on board the ISS would have been.

Microsoft also claimed there would have been a genuine benefit in having HoloLens in space and it would have been much more than a photo opportunity for the headset, which is expected to launch to consumers next year.

“Microsoft HoloLens is about transforming the ways you create, connect, and explore,” said Alex Kipman, technical fellow, Windows and Devices Group at Microsoft.

“Sidekick is a prime example of an application for which we envisioned HoloLens being used – unlocking new potential for astronauts and giving us all a new perspective on what is possible with holographic computing.”

We’ll have to take his word for it; the next SpaceX launch hasn’t yet been confirmed, although a Progress vehicle is ready to launch early in July and Orbital ATK, an alternative commercial cargo partner, has a 2015 launch planned.

Paul Lamkin is the editor-in-chief of Wareable. Follow him on Twitter.

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