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Space station needs some ‘fake plants’

February 4, 2010

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In 2005, geography assistant professor Paul Kingsbury volunteered to assess the habitability of the International Space Station for the Canadian Space Agency.

He donned a virtual-reality headset and goggles and "walked" through a 3D digital recreation of the station while an agency rep quizzed him on his impressions.

"It was realistic to the extent that I felt immersed in the space," he recalls.

"It was powerful."

He also felt claustrophobic and experienced a realistic feeling of weightlessness. "There were lots of corridors and rooms and lots of white plastic," he says.

Overall, Kingsbury found the station a bit austere. "I said it would be nice if they had some fake plants."

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