The team at NASA is in full mission preparation mode as they prepare to send a new team to the moon for the first time in decades via the Artemis program in 2024.
But one of the key points of interest in that upcoming mission is the fact that NASA will also be sending the first woman to the moon. In conjunction with that mission, the space agency has launched an augmented reality experience to build interest and understanding around the historic event.
The main platform NASA is using for the content the medium of the popular graphic novel, in this case, a title called First Woman: NASA's Promise for Humanity. The graphic novel details the journey of Commander Callie Rodriguez and her robot assistant RT.
However, in addition to the graphic novel, the fictional work is also accompanied by an app, also named First Woman, which allows users to experience parts of the story in AR.
The app is available for iOS and Android and is hosted by the RT robot who uses scalable AR models to teach users about the basics of the moon mission from spacesuits, to the spacecraft used, as well as a virtual visit to the moon itself. There are even a few quizzes designed to bolster your general space program knowledge.
The free graphic novel can be read either online, or downloaded via PDF, and includes a scannable barcode (see below) that allows the user to download the associated app as well as trigger various interactive features.
That experience is powered by the web AR masters over at 8th Wall, one of the pioneers in making web AR easy enough for mainstream users to engage with zero technical expertise.
But the moon isn't the only thing on NASA's radar when it comes to AR. The space agency has also just launched an app to highlight its James Webb Space Telescope.
The $10 billion project is set to launch into space in December and will allow humanity to expand upon the discoveries made by the Hubble Space Telescope by pointing the infrared observatory into space to discover new secrets related to the beginnings of the universe.
The app, which is only available for iOS, allows you to put the James Webb Space Telescope in your own area via AR. Once launched, in addition to the virtual model, users can also access audio and video content explaining many of the details around the mission and what it means to everyone on Earth.
Like the First Woman app, the JWST Augmented Reality App is free and available immediately. Beyond their ability to give us greater insight into NASA's important work, these apps are yet another impressive example of how educators can now use augmented reality to enhance the learning experience in a number of new and meaningful ways.