NASA VR / 360 multimedia for Planetarium Shows and Informal Education

Length:  ~ 5 minutes each
Cost:  Free
Last updated:  May 2022
Format: Live, interactive, and short clips/stills, with some fully immersive Virtual Reality (VR) experiences, and some Augmented Reality (AR) experiences 
Software: Digital Sky 2 buttons, Uniview instructions, Digistar instructions, Digitalis instructions, Emerald Planetarium instructions, Shira player instructions, ePlanetarium instructions, OpenSpace instructions, some Rift, some Vive, and general media

Tagline:  “Step inside NASA's shoes.”

This is a collection of media and tools, which includes 360 spherical images/videos using equirectangular warping.  Members can access an interactive, planetarium curriculum using these assets.  The media here should be usable by most digital planetarium systems, headset Virtual Reality, and smartphone VR setups, with minimum extra work to import them. There are also some true, interactive VR experiences listed on this page.  Files are downloadable below, including videos. See the NASA Media Use Policy and the JPL Image Use Policy.

Latest addition:  From the NASA Student Launch Initiative, flying in 360 with a rocket5,000 Exoplanets: Listen to the Sounds of Discovery, downloadable here.

For the public to try at home, view these YouTube 360 videos using your mobile device or computer, no goggles or other equipment is required.  Total length of the entire playlist is over 2.5 hours long (data charges may apply).  Pick your favorites and wow your friends and family with a rocket launch or trip to Mars!  Also, while not strictly VR, try the web browser 360 experience NASA's Home and City that details NASA spin offs.
There may be some third-party content on this page.  NASA does not endorse third-party content.  Any third-party content is provided as examples of how NASA science can be used.  Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in third-party materials are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of NASA.

Possible uses for museums and educators include the following:

  • Use inside your existing planetarium shows, e.g. live, "space update" or "sky tonight" shows (see more information below for talking points), or use them in creating new shows.
  • Use the alpha-channeled images as accurate panoramas for Martian landscapes.
  • Use in a classroom, library, on the museum floor, or at a science festival.  They work with most mobile devices, computers, and of course full VR rigs.  Download for offline use to increase performance and reliabilty, and to decrease cellular data usage or Wi-Fi congestion.  Third party VR players may be needed.

NASA 360 videos and VR experiences:

As more 360º video and VR content is released, this page will be updated.  As general tips for planetariums using 360 video, most systems allow you to adjust the tilt and camera center within the spherical video so you can see more landscape, and/or focus on areas of interest throughout the video.  Play with a video to see what the best angles and positions are for your dome setup, and members can ask questions and discuss more tips in our team chat.

As always, we welcome feedback, bug reports, reporting broken links, examples/instructions for other planetarium systems, tips, tricks, etc. Just email us.

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This special Resource has been made available to all viewers.  Please note that (free) membership is required for full access to the Museum Alliance site; please visit Join Our Community to learn more.

Search tag: free, download, downloadable, Virtual Reality, 360 degree videos, images, show

Downloadable Files:
Resource Type: 
Multimedia: Audio
Multimedia: Images
Multimedia: Interactives
Multimedia: Planetarium Shows
Multimedia: Videos
NASA Funded Planetarium Shows
NASA Resources
Apollo Program
ISS - International Space Station
JWST - James Webb Space Telescope
Mars InSight
Mars Science Laboratory (Curiosity)
PSP - Parker Solar Probe