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#Apollo50: Augmented Reality Lunar Module for ZEIT Online

design , protoyping , testing , implementation

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the historic Apollo 11 lunar landing, ZEIT Online asked NEEEU to come up with an awesome, fun way to share the exciting story of the first manned-vehicle to touch down on the surface of the moon. On July 20th 1969, the world watched on with bated breath as the ambitious plan to bring astronauts to the moon and back unfolded in the skies above.

In collaboration with ZEIT Online, the team at NEEEU worked on bringing the history of space exploration to life in a way that both engages the current generation of technology consumers and explores how journalism and immersive technology can work together. The resulting interactive Augmented Reality (AR) feature explores one of mankind’s greatest achievements, and allows the audience to view, and interact with, the historic lunar module like never before.

Zoom in and rotate the Reaction Control Thrusters that helped control the descent to the lunar surface. See the life-size landing pads at your feet and imagine Neil Armstrong’s first steps down that iconic ladder. Inspect the 3D VHF antenna that allowed the world to witness events unfolding 384,400 km away from Earth.

As the world continues to move forward with the use of AR, more immersive 3D content is being created and published every day. Yet, many news publishers have neither the time nor the resources to develop their own native apps. Web-based augmented reality enables developers and publishers to create content that can be seen by their readers directly in their browser, without the need for downloading an app. This technological leap forward allows AR - one of the fastest-growing segments of the tech industry, to be included in the editorial process of modern-day journalism. Immersive technology has the power to change the way people engage with news stories. Through the use of browser-based AR, this project brings our history and future together. The result of all this experimentation is an augmented reality collaboration that aims to push AR to the next level and see what that might mean for the future of journalism.