This April, Alton Towers Resort is launching the world’s first rollercoaster dedicated to virtual reality.

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Galactica will combine a physical flying rollercoaster with a virtual journey into space where riders will be ‘transformed’ into astronauts before being ‘plunged into outer space’ with a G force more powerful than a real rocket launch.

The cutting edge technology will allow thrill seekers to feel like they’re in a whole different world, complete with virtual space suits and space-like visuals as part of the space adventure.

The visuals have been synchronised to the twists, turns and loops of the rollercoaster to recreate the sensation of hurtling through space.

Each rider will wear a specialist VR headset, through which an on-board artificial intelligence will guide them, through simulation, from the launch pad and up into space.

The ride’s development coincides with Tim Peake’s time in space. Space exploration will continue to dominate the news this year with a NASA mission to Mars and a spacecraft landing on Jupiter – a journey that has taken five years.

Gill Riley, marketing director at Alton Towers Resort, commented, “Galactica uses ground breaking technology to give riders a breath taking and completely unique rollercoaster experience.

“Tim Peake captured the imagination of millions of Brits last year when he set off on his mission to the International Space Station – and now our visitors can become astronauts too.

“There is nowhere else in the world that people can experience the feeling of a flying rollercoaster combined with soaring through the universe. For two minutes, our guests will be transported into space and we believe Galactica showcases the future for theme parks around the world – it’s a complete game changer!”

Galactica in Numbers

•    Total G-force: 3.5 G’s
•    Track length: 840 meters
•    Height of drop: 20 meters
•    Ride duration: 189 seconds
•    Maximum speed: 75km per hour
•    Capacity per car: 28 passengers
•    Capacity per hour: 1500 passengers

Galactica will be located in the Forbidden Valley area of the theme park and is set to open in April 2016.

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