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NASA will send HoloLens to space this weekend

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Astronauts will use Microsoft's AR device to communicate with Earth

NASA has been involved with Microsoft's HoloLens since before it was announced, and it's about to take the relationship one step further. This weekend, NASA will send a pair of HoloLens devices to the International Space Station as part of the SpaceX resupply mission.

Astronauts aboard the ISS will use HoloLens in a few ways. There is a "Remote Expert Mode," where ground operators can use Skype to see what a crew member sees in real time. The operator can then make notes and draw right in the astronaut's field of view. There's also a "Procedure Mode," which lays animated holographic drawings over whatever the crew member is interacting with. To make all this happen, NASA and Microsoft co-developed a program called Sidekick.

The first devices will be used for testing

Sidekick won't immediately become a part of the day-to-day routine on the ISS. Astronauts will use these first two devices to test the hardware and software, and a second set of HoloLens glasses will be delivered "on a future mission," according to NASA.