Swiss scientists have developed the Virtual Reality Universe Project (VIRUP) program for virtual space travel. A beta version is already available to the public, reports The Associated Press.

Researchers from one of Switzerland’s leading universities released a beta version of the open source software on Tuesday. Its peculiarity is that it allows you to make virtual travels into space, including to the International Space Station, the Moon, Saturn or some exoplanet, as well as to a distant galaxy.

The Virtual Reality Universe Project, or VIRUP, has combined a huge amount of data in the universe to create three-dimensional panoramic visualizations of space.

The project involved software engineers, astrophysicists and experts in VR technology from the Ecole Polytechnique Lausanne (EPFL) in Switzerland. As a result, they created a virtual map that can be viewed using VR gadgets, dome screens (such as in planetariums) or simply on a PC in 2D mode.

“The novelty of this project was to combine all the available datasets into one structure. Anyone can see the Universe at different scales and at different stages of evolution: from the Big Bang to the present day, ”explains Jean-Paul Kneib, director of the EPFL Astrophysics Laboratory.

To create VIRUP, data from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey in the United States, the Gaia mission of the European Space Agency and the Planck mission to observe the first light of the universe were used. In the future, the program will include the indicators of the Square Kilometer Array project.

According to The Associated Press, after the user puts on the VR glasses, he sees the moon, then virtually transported outside the solar system, flying past Saturn. Further, you can see the Milky Way from the side and various exoplanets, which are marked in red.

You can get acquainted with the project by the link.