Patriots Point First To Offer Shared Virtual Reality Program

ProvidedPatriots Point Naval & Maritime Museum has partnered with Moondog Animation Studio to build a first-of-its-kind shared virtual reality space program that will be offered to campers and day groups who visit the USS YORKTOWN.

The program, titled “Virtual Reality Space Mission,” utilizes 360-degree virtual reality (VR) technology to present the solar system to groups of up to 20 people at a time using VR headsets and surround sound.  Advanced programming allows each participant to share the exciting experience together as a group. 

“This new technology will change the way our visitors experience and learn about outer space,” said Information Technology Director Robert Clark. “We basically created an immersive experience in which people are buckled into a virtual spacecraft and taken across the solar system and beyond, all while sitting inside a theater aboard the USS Yorktown.”

Virtual Reality Space Mission” is an hour-long program that begins with a multi-media presentation explaining the history and importance of space exploration.   Participants must be at least six years old and be part of an overnight camping or day group.    

In addition to the thrill of the new technology, Patriots Point Education Director Keith Grybowski is also excited for the benefit it will have on students who visit the museum. “This program will teach kids that the future of space travel is not just dependent upon new technology, but instead is driven by the spirit of exploration and innovation within all of us,” said Grybowski.

Aside from the space program, museum officials have also started to develop a portable version of the system along with VR experiences that are based on South Carolina’s education curriculum standards in history and science.   According to Robert Clark, a portable system will expand Patriots Point’s already successful Distance Learning program by allowing the museum education staff to deliver the educational VR experiences to class rooms across the state.

“Portability of the experience is paramount to extending our reach into the classroom and bringing immersive-learning to students in school districts that are unable to travel to Charleston,” said Clark.

Currently, “Virtual Reality Space Mission” is available for overnight camping groups to book now as their included excursion at no additional fee.   Day groups will be charged $10 per person.   The new program is not available to general admission ticket holders.  However, museum officials say it may be offered in the future.

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Editor's Note - This is an unedited press release.

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