“Space Explorers: The ISS Experience”—the groundbreaking virtual reality (VR) production that brings viewers closer to life onboard the International Space Station (ISS) than ever before—is now an Emmy-winning series. The multi-platform VR experience, produced by Felix & Paul Studios in association with TIME, is being filmed onboard the space station through a project sponsored by the ISS U.S. National Laboratory.
“Space Explorers: The ISS Experience” recently took home the Emmy for Outstanding Interactive Program at the 73rd Annual Emmy Awards. It is the sixth Emmy nomination and third win for Felix & Paul Studios, following the studio’s award-winning interactive programs “The People’s House—Inside the White House with Barack and Michelle Obama” and “Inside the Box of Kurios” with Cirque Du Soleil.
“This Primetime Emmy Award is a huge honor that we share with all of our partners and collaborators,” said Félix Lajeunesse, co-founder of Felix & Paul Studios, which is also an ISS National Lab Implementation Partner. “With ‘Space Explorers: The ISS Experience,’ people from around the world will be transported to space through virtual reality to experience living and working onboard the ISS, as well as performing a spacewalk alongside an extraordinary group of astronauts. We are pleased to have partnered with the ISS National Lab to make this ambitious project a reality.”
The series uses specialized VR camera systems designed to operate in microgravity to see through the eyes of an astronaut. The innovative production method allows viewers to experience what it’s like to live and work 250 miles above the Earth amid the cutting-edge technology and awe-inspiring views of the world’s only orbiting laboratory. Filmed over two years, the series is an intimate look at the daily lives of astronauts onboard the ISS as they grapple with the physical, technical, and philosophical challenges of life in space.
Among its achievements, the series is the first to film a spacewalk in cinematic VR, capturing the daring feat in unparalleled, heart-pounding realism. Producers filmed the recent spacewalk following astronauts Akihiko Hoshide of the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and Thomas Pesquet of the European Space Agency (ESA) as they maneuvered outside the station to install a support bracket for a new solar array. This spacewalk is the first to be conducted by two international partner astronauts outside the ISS airlock. The breathtaking footage will be featured in the final episode of “Space Explorers: The ISS Experience” and as a main feature of the major touring interactive exhibit “THE INFINITE,” produced in partnership with PHI Studio.
The Emmy continues a winning streak for the series, which garnered accolades at the 25th annual Webby Awards in May of this year. Episode 1 of the series won a Webby for best virtual and remote content in the category of science and education and took home the People’s Voice Award for “Best VR Video” in 2021. Called “the internet’s highest honor” by the New York Times, the Webby Awards are presented by the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences (IADAS) to recognize the best content hosted on the internet.
Learn more about the award-winning “Space Explorers: The ISS Experience” immersive series in this guest ISS360 contribution from Félix Lajeunesse.