NASA Funding Opportunity & Immersive 360° Planetariums for Schools–Science Centers

“Our Projection Domes are dedicated to the advancement of Highly Immersive Virtual Environments (HIVE) for entertainment and education technology.” ― Pacific Domes

NASA LogoYou may be pleased to learn that NASA released a funding opportunity targeting planetariums and museums in early May of 2019. Proposers are required to engage a network of informal science institutions in their activities.

NASA Funding Opportunity ‘Snippet’

The primary focus is on Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM). There will be 1-8 awards available to schools, science centers and private institutions.

This is where the race gets exciting! Recipients of NASA’s funding opportunities can look forward to receiving awards from between a half-million to one million dollars each.

For your further consideration, here’s the link to the solicitation:
2019 NASA Teams Engaging Affiliated Museums and Informal Institutions (TEAM Ⅱ).

How immersive 360° projection planetariums work

Stars & Constellations Map

In this digital age, up-to-date planetariums now use data gathered from multiple sources, such as, space agencies, spacecraft and telescopes all over the planet. Digital projectors connected to computers project a realistic graphical representation of entire galaxies onto the dome’s curvilinear surface.

Spectacular images can be sourced from anywhere in the universe. When projected onto the domed ceiling, they create an immersive fulldome environment – and, most importantly, a shared, interactive learning experience.

“You no longer need to train for several years as an astronaut to explore space – planetariums can give you an amazing virtual tour of the universe while you keep your feet firmly on the ground.”  ― Jenny Shipway, Head of the Winchester Planetarium, UK.

Creating Positive Solutions to Critical Global Issues

The study of resonance science has proven that immersive environments inside a geodesic dome produce positive results. Imagine students working together to solve planetary issues in a beneficial learning environment such as,  the harmonic frequencies within an immersive planetarium dome.

The 13th FullDome Festival 2019

full dome projections, projection dome
Full Dome Projection in Jena, Germany. Photo: reef-distribution. com

The 13th FullDome Festival was held on May 22nd – 25th, 2019 in Jena, Germany. Featuring the best of immersive education and Planetarium art, the FullDome Festival provided an open platform to promote the art, the science and the future of fulldome immersive media.

Much of the discussion zoomed-in on how quickly technology is transforming everyday learning environments with Augmented and Virtual Reality (AVR) solutions at any level. Nanyang Technological University (NTU) served as the model backdrop for the dialog around the future evolution of education.


Enjoy a “Fuller” view of the universe inside a Planetarium Dome. What better place to navigate the heavens, than from inside the very structure from which it was designed?

More recently, discoveries in science tell us that we live in a holographic universe, where space is made up of icosahedral molecules – from nano particles to galactic measure. Named Buckyballs (aka Fullerenes) after Buckminster ‘Bucky’ Fuller (father of the modern geodesic dome), this same geometry mirrors itself throughout the cosmos.

projection sphere, projection dome
The Dubai sphere in the Dubsai shopping mall, provided 360 projections on both the top and bottom of the sphere that was accessed and viewed from a walkway crossing through the center of the dome.
projection sphere, projection dome
The walkway through the center of the Dubai sphere allowed 360 degree projection on the entire inside of the dome sphere.

Buckminster Fuller’s architectural model for the geodesic dome was designed from Nature’s own blueprint. Out of the strength and portability of Bucky’s geometry, Pacific Domes created the world’s largest mobile Planetarium Dome with a colossal projection screen onto which cosmic scenes move realistically to simulate the heavens.

The Future of Immersive AVR Education

Blurring the line between the real and the imagined, lies immersive AVR (Augmented and Virtual Reality) education.  Virtual Reality (VR) attempts to simulate a real-life environment and transports the viewer out of the present setting; while, Augmented Reality AR technology layers digital information atop the user’s physical surroundings.

Moving forward into 2019, some experts sense that, whereas, VR remains a niche technology, AR has become readily available to anyone with a smartphone. The future of immersive planetarium education seems to be evolving along the lines of Augmented and Virtual Reality (AVR).

While Stanford University researchers caution that much research is needed to understand the effects of this technology as it scales, the 2019 Future of Education Global Summit in Singapore shared their visions of the classrooms of the future; as well as, how Augmented and Virtual Reality (AVR) can play a role in creating active and collaborative learning environments. (5-03-19) (1:30 Min)

Pacific Domes is Accepting Partnering Proposals for NASA’s Funding Opportunity

Portable Planetarium Domes are used for educational and entertaining shows about astronomy, the night sky, earth-space exploration; or, for interactive training in celestial navigation. When presented in a Pacific domes Planetarium, hot topics, such as  – climate change issues – come alive, allowing viewers to understand critical global issues with impactful visualizations.Event Domes Brochure

A permanent, semi-permanent or mobile projection dome theater can be implemented for one-tenth of the price of many outdated planetarium systems. As an affiliated member of the International Planetarium Society (IPS), Pacific Domes has access to the entire planetarium community.

Pacific Domes has previously collaborated with influential planetarium leaders; such as, ED Lantz of Vortex Immersion Media and Obscura Digital, recently purchased by Madison Square Garden (MSG).

If you would like to consider partnering with Pacific Domes, we will work with you to design your project and help you engage with the planetarium-museum community in your area.