ISL worked with Framestore & McCann NY to create a groundbreaking, immersive experience for kids for Lockheed Martin that transported them to Mars during the USA Science & Engineering Festival in Washington, D.C.

So, we bought a school bus and built The Field Trip To Mars —  an interactive simulated drive along the surface of the Red Planet. This experience was one component of Generation Beyond, a multi-year national educational program designed to inspire the next generation of innovators, explorers, inventors and pioneers to pursue STEM careers. ISL was also responsible for designing/developing an interactive website, which would act as a second major component of Generation Beyond and compliment the Mars Bus experience for children in the classroom.

Mars Bus

The Mars bus is the first immersive VR vehicle ever built that replicates the Martian landscape.


From the outside it looks like a typical school bus, but come aboard and you’ll quickly see there is more than meets the eye.


CAD models were created to carefully spec out the location of all components to ensure all of our hardware fit together perfectly.

The Build

Building out the bus was no small feat — four 84″ displays were mounted over the windows, 8 PCs were built and 5 of them rack-mounted in the rear of the bus, a diesel-generator was installed, electrical was run throughout the bus including a breaker box, surround sound installed, bus seats were modified and reupholstered, blackout curtains and window coverings installed, and final trimmings installed to restore the bus to a “natural” look.




Bus Work

Generation Beyond Website

The Generation Beyond website was meant to be an educational tool to be used in the classroom. The primary part of the experience — Fly with Orion — is developed in WebGL, an interactive framework for websites used to convey environments built in Unity, a game engine. Realistic models carefully crafted for both the Orion spacecraft and Mars were used as the anchors in space, pinned at correct angles and rotating and proportionally correct speeds.

Orion Screen

Children can click around the models to manipulate and learn about different interesting facts. Footage and information were delivered from NASA and curated for a child’s comprehension to create an engaging, innovative, and beautifully complementary piece for the Mars Bus.


The Results

19 Cannes Lions(!), 365,000 in-person impressions at the conference, 2,500 bus riders, 2,210,209 online media impressions… and counting.

Interested in seeing more images from the Field Trip To Mars? Click here!

Convention Center 1
Convention Center 2



The bus was exceptional for those able to ride it and see it in person, but Lockheed Martin also wanted to be able to reach a broader audience, thus was born.



The Hub

The hub allows users to learn about Lockheed Martin’s work with Orion, view the Mars Bus, find lessons and curriculum, meet the Lockheed crew and download the Hello Mars App.

Once inside “Fly with Orion”, the experience is taken to a new level. Built in Unity and expressed in WebGL, viewers are introduced to Lockheed’s history of space exploration and then able to navigate the path of Orion and on to Mars. Clickable points on the Orion spacecraft and Mars give users bits of information, all that are visually engaging, scientifically accurate and short enough to keep a younger person’s attention.
Another unique project on the books for ISL. Press coverage continues to pour in, highlighting our collaboration with McCann NY and Framestore, including mentions in, and!