The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) has collaborated with the Hong Kong Space Museum to showcase an interactive exhibit “Moon | Mars VR”, starting today for one year. The virtual reality exhibit, powered by PolyU’s cutting-edge technology that assists the Nation’s space missions, allows the public to experience spacewalking and explore the landing sites of Chang’e-4 and Tianwen-1 spacecrafts on the Moon and Mars. The launch ceremony was held today at the Museum.
The VR exhibit makes use of data provided by the relevant space agencies of China and the PolyU research team led by Professor WU Bo, Fiona Cheung Professor in Spatial Science, Associate Director of Research Centre for Deep Space Explorations and Associate Head of the Department of Land Surveying and Geo-Informatics, to create a virtual reality environment of the landing sites on the Moon and Mars, allowing visitors to virtually experience spacewalking on the two celestial bodies. Invited by the China National Space Administration, this VR system was also recently showcased at the China International Aviation & Aerospace Exhibition held at Zhuhai and enthusiastically received by audience.
The launch ceremony today was officiated by Prof. Wu Bo and the Curator of the Hong Kong Space Museum Mr Timothy HO Man Hung.
Prof. Wu is the developer of the innovative 3D topographic mapping and intelligent geomorphological analysis techniques which contributed to landing site mapping and selection for China’s Chang’e-3, Chang’e-4, and Chang’e-5 lunar missions, as well as the Tianwen-1 mission to Mars.
Tying in with the theme of the exhibit, Prof. Wu was also invited to deliver a public lecture titled “Space Exploration: A Journey to the Heavenly Questions”, discussing recent space missions by China and other countries exploring the Moon and Mars, and introducing the application of topographic mapping, remote sensing, artificial intelligence and other technologies in support of these space exploration missions. Prof. Wu also discussed the prospects for further space exploration and education with the audience.
Prof. Wu said, “As the only Hong Kong institution contributing to the Nation’s astronautical projects, PolyU has been deeply involved in China’s lunar and Mars missions. We are pleased to collaborate with the Hong Kong Space Museum in showcasing this exhibit, inviting the public to experience some of the scientific research achievements of PolyU and the Nations’ space exploration accomplishments over the years. Looking forward, it is hoped that more events and exhibitions with a focus on space technology can be held to promote greater awareness and interest among the public and young people.”
To further contribute to the development of China's aerospace technology, PolyU has established the “Research Centre for Deep Space Explorations”, and also signed a cooperation agreement with the Academy of Aerospace Propulsion Technology in China to establish the “Joint Research Centre of Advanced Aerospace Propulsion Technology”. The University fully supports the selection of payload specialists in Hong Kong for China’s manned space programme, and previously held a seminar on campus to encourage outstanding young scholars to apply. PolyU will continue to realise our vision to benefit the Nation and Hong Kong by nurturing talents and pursuing cutting-edge scientific research.
The “Moon | Mars VR” exhibit is jointly presented by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department and PolyU, and jointly organised by the Hong Kong Space Museum and the Planetary Remote Sensing Laboratory of PolyU’s Research Centre for Deep Space Explorations, and supported by the China National Space Administration’s Information Office. For more information, please visit the museum website at: https://hk.space.museum/en_US/web/spm/exhibitions/permanent-exhibition/moon-mars-vr.html .
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