The augmented reality app that lets you experience the moon landing
The augmented reality app that lets you experience the moon landing The new app allows users to walk on the moon with Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin. (Smithsonian Channel/NASA on The Commons)
The augmented reality app that lets you experience the moon landing
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Americans crowded around grainy televisions.  The year was 1969. They witnessed 
Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin touch ground on the moon. That moment was 
amazing for all who watched it. 

The Smithsonian Channel launched the "Apollo's Moon Shot" augmented reality app. 
They are betting it can bring new audiences closer to the experience of the landing 
than the original footage ever could.

The AR app is available for Apple and Android devices. It places users on the surface 
of the moon. It lets them virtually escape their own surroundings. Users can 
moonwalk like Aldrin and Armstrong. They can witness the craters that dot the 
landscape. They can jump up and down in a state of altered gravity. They can gaze 
out at the darkening sky. The app also includes information about the landing. It is 
integrated into its design.

"It makes the landing more interactive. It allows people to bring the Apollo program 
into their own experience." says Teasel Muir-Harmony.  She is a curator at the 
National Air and Space Museum. 

The app's developers used 3-D scans of Neil Armstrong's space suit and of the Lunar 
Command Module. It placed the astronauts on the moon. They did this to replicate 
the feeling and the scale of the landing. Users can do more than walk on the moon. 
The app allows users to simulate the mission takeoff. It charts the Apollo's path 
through the moon's airspace. It includes two games. "The Moon Shot Challenge" and 
the "Lunar Landing Challenge." The games test users' ability to guide a safe landing 
through a lunar terrain dotted with boulders and craters.

The Smithsonian Channel launched the app along with its six-part "Apollo's Moon 
Shot" series. It premiered in June. The series features Muir-Harmony as an expert. 
She narrates the story of the Apollo 11 landing. She does this by using artifacts in 
the Smithsonian collection. The series also includes rare archival footage and 
audiotapes.

Muir Harmony consulted on the television series. She also consulted on the app. The 
goal was to highlight a side of the moon landing that much of the public hasn't 
encountered. 

"We often focus on the astronauts, but over 400,000 people worked on the 
program," she says.

Teams of NASA scientists worked under tight deadlines. They needed to map out 
ways to make day-to-day life transferrable into space. A group of engineers cobbled 
together personal items like zero-gravity sleeping bags for the astronauts. They 
developed exercise equipment that was later dubbed the Exergenie. It was a "rope 
friction device" that let astronauts work out even in a weightless environment.

"One of the things that people don't always realize is how many details were 
involved in a program like that. How many new technologies had to be developed. 
And how many people had to work together to make it all possible," said Muir-
Harmony.

The point of the app is to show these forgotten shades of the Apollo landing. They 
want to bring them to people who aren't easily able to visit the Air and Space 
Museum.

"The series and the app do a wonderful job of exposing people to the complexities of 
that program," said Muir-Harmony. 

"It's exciting for us to be able use augmented reality to give people more access to 
the artifacts in our national collections.

Source URL: https://www.tweentribune.com/article/tween56/augmented-reality-app-lets-you-experience-moon-landing/

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CRITICAL THINKING QUESTION
What do you think would be the most exciting thing about going to the moon? Why?
Write your answers in the comments section below


COMMENTS (51)
  • 26kadubo
    11/26/2019 - 10:32 a.m.

    I think the app is really cool because you can see what it's like to be on the moon. You can also see what it's like to be on a spaceship.

  • 26nalee
    11/26/2019 - 10:49 a.m.

    I think that the most exciting part of going to the moon was the zero gravity. Zero gravity would make you able to float! In zero gravity you could see liquid drops float everywhere! I think zero gravity would be AWESOME!!!

  • 26sgbock
    11/26/2019 - 10:51 a.m.

    I think the most exciting thing about going to the moon would be floating because there is no gravity. I think it would be funny to see all of your stuff floating around. The reason I think it would be exciting is because we are used to earth that has gravity so going to space where there is no gravity would be exciting. You would also be able to see the moon close up and all the little details.That would be exciting because from pictures you cant see those little details.

  • 26trthor
    11/26/2019 - 10:57 a.m.

    I think it is a good thing it ways if you are going to space you need to know what it is like and to figure out what to do in space.I think it would inspire other kids to want to go to space.

  • 26sgbock
    12/03/2019 - 10:30 a.m.

    I think the coolest thing would be seeing the moon up-close. When you see pictures by satalites you cant see all the little details. So if you went to the moon you would see all those things and it would be cool cause we don't get to see unless we go to the moon. Also not having gravity would be cool because you would just be floating.

  • Alma-E2
    12/04/2019 - 12:03 p.m.

    This is about a app that lets you experience what it would be like to be on the moon. It has two games the moon shot challenge and lunar landing challenge.I think it would be super cool to use that app.I think it would be cool because most people have no idea what the moon is like.

  • 26mlhans
    12/05/2019 - 10:32 a.m.

    I think the most exciting thing would be the little gravity that the moon has. It would be fun because you could experience something like that only once in your life. I think it would also be cool to see the moon's surface because we don't have the same type of terrain on Earth. You even would be a part of history because you went to the moon ad that would be pretty cool too.

  • Will-E2
    12/09/2019 - 04:15 p.m.

    This article is about a app that lets you simulate being on the moon. It simulates the Apollo moon landing. It was made by Smithsonian .I think it is very cool that you can simulate being on the moon. It would be very cool to be on the moon.

  • 26alcham
    12/10/2019 - 10:39 a.m.

    I think that the most exciting thing about going to the moon would be that maybe different things we have never seen on earth are there. It would be cool to go, not every one gets to go to the moon. It would also be exciting when you walk , there is no gravity.You would probably get famous from going to the moon. The moon would be very pretty to see.

  • 26ymberr
    12/10/2019 - 10:45 a.m.

    I think the moon is really pretty and to see it up close would be really cool.The app that they made was to show the forgotten shades of the Apollo landing. It's neat that they want to bring them to people who aren't easily able to visit the Air and Space Museum.The most exiting
    thing about going to the moon is you would get to
    experience something most people wouldn't get to experience,and I think it would also be exciting if you
    go to hop around with zero gravity.

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