A group of students in Cornwall have launched the first iteration of a new educational VR experience which will enable users to feel involved with the first ever satellite launch from UK soil, due to take place from Spaceport Cornwall later this year.

Students from Falmouth’s Creative Virtual Reality and Immersive Computing courses collaborated with peers from Truro and Penwith College to create a bespoke educational tool for Spaceport – which will make history when it launches the UK’s first rocket into orbit from British soil.

The first phase of the VR was launched at Goonhilly Earth Station’s 60th anniversary celebrations last weekend, where partners including University of Exeter, Truro and Penwith College and the South West Centre of Excellence in Satellite Applications gathered to take visitors on a “voyage of discovery” via a range of space-themed activities and experiences.

Spaceport Cornwall’s team say the VR experience will allow young people to witness a launch in its entirety, becoming a part of the scene and enabling them to wander around the ‘Arthur 6’ satellite and through control room areas before meeting holograms of scientists on their travels.

Brian Waterfield, head of immersive production at Falmouth University’s Immersive Business Lab worked with the team to help shape their working structure and scrum activities.

He said: “It was a pleasure working with Falmouth and Truro and Penwith College students and to witness their tireless dedication in bringing this concept into fruition.

“To undertake such a complicated brief alongside their studies was not an easy task – especially when you consider this took place alongside their final year exams, employment and preparation for the next step in their careers. I’ve worked with many teams in industry throughout my career and I can say that the team we put together here are among the best, displaying professionalism and creativity in their approach to the work. This will no doubt stand them in good stead for future employment.”

Naomi Johns, deputy team lead for digital at Truro and Penwith College said: “We’re proud to support Cornwall’s contribution to the UK space programme and to work with Falmouth University on nurturing the next generation of creative tech talent. It was a privilege to be able to share our progress at Goonhilly’s 60th anniversary event and we look forward to sharing the final version with Spaceport later this year.”