The world has been celebrating the 50th anniversary of the moon landing with a variety of immersive and interactive events. Claire Baldwin looks at how we’ve been using 2019’s technology to bring this seminal event to a whole new audience.
The Apollo 11 mission to land on the moon was a groundbreaking and era-defining event. Those who witnessed it live will never forget the moment man first walked on the moon. People purchased television sets specifically for the occasion, and friends, family and neighbours gathered in cramped living rooms to watch the event on tiny black-and-white screens.
Now, 50 years on, new projects are allowing new audiences to get a taste of the excitement felt by the world as Apollo 11 was launched, journeyed to the moon, and made its way safely home.
While modern viewers will never be able to fully experience the nervous uncertainty and fear felt as Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Michael Collins headed into the unknown, new immersive technology allows them to learn more about the moon landing and to experience the mission in real time.
Channel 4’s real-time live stream
Channel 4 partnered with digital specialists Little Dot to live stream the moon landing on their YouTube channel. The stream started at 14:31 BST on July 16th, replicating the exact timing of the real event.
Modern audiences were able to watch the launch ‘live’ in real time, allowing them to experience what it was like on the day. Shorter updates from the mission were also streamed over the next few days, giving viewers some insight into what NASA’s team of astronauts were up to at that very moment 50 years earlier.
The full moon landing episodes are available on demand on All 4 for a limited time.
The Smithsonian’s augmented reality app
Polish start-up company Immersion created an augmented reality app for NASA and the Smithsonian Institution, allowing new generations to experience the moon landing in an immersive way.
Using real images, footage and audio provided by NASA, the app allows users to experience space missions, launch rockets, and explore the lunar landscape. Users can receive notifications with hour-by-hour updates on the Apollo 11 mission to the moon, or enjoy AR simulation games that involve navigating through space. You can even take a selfie on the moon to share on social media, which is possibly the most 2019 way to celebrate the moon landing.
Designed to be intuitive and easy to use for all ages, the app complements the Smithsonian Channel’s six-part television series ‘Apollo’s Moon Shot’ and brings NASA’s space missions of the ’60s to a new audience in an exciting and engaging way.
Apollo Lego Reenactment
On a much smaller (and cuter) scale, art and sculpture creator Attoparsec has been celebrating the moon landing through the medium of Lego.
The artist has created Lego scenes and combined them with quotes from NASA’s Apollo 11 transcript, publishing them on Twitter to produce a real-time reenactment of the moon landing.
Twitter is a great platform for this, as posts can be created and scheduled ahead of time, allowing the creator to stick to an accurate timeline with little effort. It also allows followers to check in with the mission as and when they visit the site, giving a feel for how the public may have interacted with the moon landing through social media if it were taking place today.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Claire has over 10 years' copywriting experience across a range of print and digital media, working with a variety of styles, formats and tones of voice. She has written as part of an in-house team client side, as well as at marketing agencies based in the East Midlands. Claire's services include copywriting, copy editing, content creation and proofreading.