Nasa Imagines 'Holo Deck' To Let You Explore Other Worlds From Your Living Room (VIDEO)

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Nasa wants to build a way for people to explore the surface of distant worlds from their living rooms.

In a speech at the Games Developers Conference in San Francisco, the space agency said it imagined a 'holo deck' into which people could step and explore the universe.

"We all desperately want Star Trek," said Nasa's Jeff Norris, according to The Verge, in a version of a presentation given last year at the PAX Conference, which you can watch above.

"I do believe that humanity's destiny is to climb aboard starships and explore the universe. I think at last we finally have in our grasp the technology necessary to build a very important room on this vessel."

It's not the first time Nasa's imagined - or even built a Holo Deck. Back in 1998 it showed off an 'immersive' meeting room which allowed engineers to work with virtual reality.

But the new vision is far grander -- allowing everyone to explore space, on their own terms, as if they were really there.

"I want us to build a future of shared immersive tele-exploration -- everyone exploring the universe through robotic avatars, not just peering at numbers or pictures on a screen, but stepping inside a holodeck and standing on those distant worlds."

Norris's fanciful - but inspiring - idea is based on the interesting experiments Nasa is already able to do with Leap Motion interfaces, which allow users to control devices and simulations with their hands, without touching a computer.

In the demonstration at GDC, Nasa was able to control a robotic rover miles from the conference centre with the innovative third-party control system.

Nasa's aim is to return to the living room, with games and experiments, where families once gathered to watch the Moon landings and Space Shuttle missions.

Part of its current work involves teaming up with Leap and companies like Microsoft to develop new systems to easily explore other worlds and asteroids with intuitive interfaces.

"Let's bring a billion human beings into a holodeck and let them join the search for life," Nasa said.