Meta's new VR experience lets you do a moonwalk
Moonwalk is a VR experience that recreates the Apollo 11 mission - including a walk on the moon.
The project is a collaboration between Meta and the Smithsonian's Arts and Industries Building (AIB), America's first national museum. The historic building was closed to the public for nearly two decades and will be temporarily reopened for a festive event.
"Futures" is part exhibition, part festival, taking place May 4-June 6, 2022, and celebrating the Smithsonian's 175th birthday. The VR experience Moonwalk will be exclusive to the site during that time, alongside more than 150 other exhibits that "fuse art, technology, design and history."
Apollo 11: Authentically Reconstructed
The project coincides with the 50th anniversary of the Apollo missions and is inspired by experiences and accounts of space travelers.
The VR experience combines thousands of rare archival images, photogrammetry, 3D scans of objects from Smithsonian collections, audio recordings from NASA missions, and all of that in virtual reality, according to the press release.
Equipped with a Meta Quest 2, visitors will be able to land on the satellite and view the lunar surface through the window of the Apollo 11 landing capsule before finally exploring the lunar landscape. You can also listen to conversations between Apollo astronauts and Mission Control, admire the view of space, and kick up virtual moon dust.
Experiencing history in virtual reality
Moonwalk is an initiative of Meta Immersive Learning and is designed to reveal the potential of immersive learning. At its recent Connect conference, Meta announced it would invest $150 million in new VR and AR learning content over the next three years.
The VR experience is being developed by agency Meridian Treehouse, VR studio Black Dot Films and exhibition designer Spark. Hopefully, Moonwalk will appear in the Oculus Store and thus be made available to a wider audience. Those who want to go to the moon a bit earlier can do so with Apollo 11 VR.