The universe of SMEs | Felix & Paul will bring the rise of Artemis I to reality in virtual reality

If the next rocket launch attempt Artemis I it succeeds, on November 16, the virtual reality cameras of the Felix & Paul Studio will be in the front row: a hundred meters from the launch area. No man would dare so close.

Posted at 08:00.

Marc Tison

Marc Tison
press

But people will be able to live the experience as if they were there.

Montreal’s immersive entertainment studio will broadcast live and in virtual reality the takeoff of the most powerful rocket ever launched.

“People, in virtual reality, will be able to live this experience as if they were on the site of the Kennedy Space Center, next to the rocket,” describes Félix Lajeunesse, co-founder and creative director of Felix & Paul Studios. “It’s a pretty special initiative for our studio, as it’s the first time we’ve done something live on this scale. »

Four virtual reality cameras, each equipped with nine lenses, are arranged around the starting point to provide as many perspectives as possible for the viewer.

“NASA prevents anyone from going this close to the site, days before launch, for safety reasons,” said Stéphane Rituit, co-founder and CEO of the studio. “We have the cameras practically closer to the starting point. As if we were at the feet of the rocket. »

Diffusion

Spectators who have a Meta Quest virtual reality headset will be able to experience the lift by accessing the Space Explorers site.

Others can participate on the Space Explorers Facebook 360 page.

In addition, the event will be broadcast live or delayed in more than 200 domes and planetariums around the world, including Montreal.

“It is the first in the world”, emphasizes Stéphane Rituit. There has never been an immersive, live broadcast projected across so many platforms in the metaverse and physical locations. »

challenges

The adventure was fraught with challenges, not the least of which was the uncertainty of the departure date. After two aborted launches due to technical problems and two weather-related delays, the untimely arrival of the hurricane Nicole has again postponed until November 16 at 01:04 am the departure originally scheduled for November 14 (date November 11).

“And the cameras we put in that environment, we don’t put them just a few hours before the flight, specifies Félix Lajeunesse. They are positioned days before. We are in Florida, by the sea, there is humidity and winds that carry a lot of salt. We need to build protection around the cameras so they can survive and work for a few days. »

Developed by studio engineers, these heat and weather screens retract when shot.

A long cooperation

Felix & Paul Studios has been working closely with NASA since 2016.

“We met them and asked them to tell the story of human space exploration through virtual reality, so that viewers could experience the journey and adventures of space exploration as if they were a part of it,” says Félix Lafontaine.

For two years, the studio filmed in virtual reality the training of astronauts in preparation for their stay on the International Space Station. Their experience was narrated in the series Space Explorers: The Journey Begins.

The adventure continued in 2018 at the space station itself, where for two years Felix & Paul cameras filmed the orbital wanderings of ten astronauts, including the Canadian David Saint-Jacques. With 250 hours of footage, the studio created the episode Space Explorers: The ISS Experienceas well as the immersive virtual reality show infinity.

What followed was logical.

The studio began filming astronauts training for the Artemis missions a few months ago.

The next step could be the Moon, and this is not an outlandish project. “It is part of the conversations, confirms Félix Lajeunesse. We also had the support of the Canadian Space Agency for their lunar exploration program. »

To this end, the company is improving the technology developed to film the walks outside the space station. “We plan to send the first virtual reality cameras to the lunar surface in 2024,” says Stéphane Rituit.

And even further…

Felix & Paul project themselves even further back in time, says Félix Lajeunesse.

“I think what we started doing with the space station and what we continue to do with Artemis will eventually take us to Mars. »

Not the moon, the planet.

This virtual reality narrative of space exploration “will become, I think, the default way of documenting progress in space. People on Earth will want to be passengers on space missions,” he adds.

“That’s really what we want to achieve as a studio. »

Biothermica processes methane from a Virginia mine


PHOTO COURTESY OF BIOTHERMICA TECHNOLOGIES

Biothermica’s Vamox plant reduces underground methane emissions from a large coal mine in Virginia.

Biothermica Technologies has just announced the commissioning of the largest underground mine facility to reduce methane emissions in the United States. COP27 provided an opportunity for this, as the facility was commissioned last July. Good, moreover, because his Vamox system has been reducing underground methane emissions for four months now from a large metallurgical coal mine (for steel production) in Buchanan County, Virginia, owned by Australian company Coronado Global Resources.

It can process 160,000 sq.3 of air per minute, this is the first full-scale installation of the system designed by the Quebec company. Its annual methane removal capacity is equivalent to taking 65,000 gasoline cars off the road. More than half of methane emissions from coal mines come from vent air, a neglected source due to its low methane concentration.

According to Dominique Kay, vice president of Biothermica’s Air and Technologies division, the treatment capacity of the Vamox unit exceeds any other technology on the market. The Montreal company, which defines itself as an integrated developer of carbon and energy projects, was founded in 1987.

Alvéole collects 8.1 million


PHOTO MARTIN TREMBLAY, PRESS ARCHIVES

Montreal social enterprise Alvéole, dedicated to urban beekeeping, completed an $8.1 million investment with venture capital firm Round13, which will enable it to expand its scope of activity.

Alveolus filled with money. The Montreal social enterprise dedicated to urban beekeeping has completed an $8.1 million investment with venture capital firm Round13, which will allow it to expand its scope of activity.

Alvéole, which bills itself as the world’s largest urban bee company, wants in particular to use this financial nectar to develop its online platform and accelerate the company’s “diffusion into new markets” (the metaphor comes from press release).

It offers companies and large real estate owners solutions such as the installation of beehives and pollinator gardens to help them achieve their ESG (environmental, social and governance) objectives.

The Montreal-based company relies on Round13’s knowledge to support the development of its MaRuche technology platform, which allows its clients to stay connected to their Alvéole project and measure their social and environmental impact. Since its founding in 2013, Alvéole has radiated to 40 cities in 6 countries.

In Cacouna, a land site to observe belugas

A real platform you can step on, not a digital thing on the web. Canada’s Economic Development for the Regions of Quebec (CED) has made a non-refundable contribution of $800,000 to the Wolastoqiyik Wahsipekuk First Nation (WWPN), in Bas-Saint-Laurent, for the construction of a belugas ground observation area.

The exceptional location overlooks a beluga whale nursery located offshore. CED estimates that the site, located in Cacouna, will contribute to the development of WWFN’s touristic attractiveness, to the increase of traffic in the MRC of Rivière-du-Loup and to the attraction of customers for several SMEs in the region.

The project, which aims to promote the protection of the species by allowing the study of its behavior, also relies on the adoption of eco-responsible practices such as reducing water, electricity and fuel consumption, as well as energy recovery.

“In line with our core values, the Putep’t-awt beluga observation area makes biodiversity protection a vector of tourism development,” commented Jacques Tremblay, Grand Chief of the Wolastoqiyik Wahsipekuk First Nation, in a press release.

Number

25

With the November 9 inauguration of its new bakery on Boulevard Roland-Therrien in Longueuil, Première Moisson now has 25 branches, 24 in Quebec and one in Ottawa. The investment of 2 million will provide bread and butter to some forty employees.

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