spaceWhat is Space Cruiser? It’s an interactive, 360-degree installation that turns the American Museum of Natural History’s planetarium dome into “a giant virtual spacecraft” that you get to navigate through asteroid belts and wormholes with your “crew.”

Separate “crew” members are responsible for the ship’s thrusts, right-left turning, maneuvering, “repairs” and etc. Part arty wow, part social experiment, “flying” this thing involves a lot of on-the-spot group collaboration, or as WNYC’s Carolina Miranda recalls, “heated shouting.” Sounds fun. When the ship crashes, everything spins, disorienting and spectacular… sounds very fun.

Created by indie game developers Babycastles and open-source software developer Ivan Safrin, Space Cruisers will be on view and playable at the Rose Center for Earth and Space for the American Museum of Natural History’s after-hours party Cosmic Cocktails and Space Arcade tonight, 6:30pm to 8:30pm and costs $75 to attend. Way cheaper than going to space, right?