• Upanishad Sharma

New York Times uses Augmented Reality to recreate moon landing

The New York Times recreated Apollo 11's iconic moon landing by using augmented reality. Combining a script, still images and computer algorithms from the moon landing, the american daily newspaper's graphics and storytelling department joined together and sifted through the decades old archives.


The process involved synchronising the photos taken on the moon with the official NASA transcript at the time and recreating events precisely as they happened. A map drawn by NASA in 1970 was also referred to as it had the exact locations where the photographs were taken.




The photographs were projected in a computer visual environment and recreated using 3-D models. The NYT collaborated with AR studio 'The Mill' to achieve this. The three-part series is the newest in the NYT's growing database of immersive articles. The VR/AR experience was also exhibited at New York City Town Hall on 21st July. The entire process is explained in The Time's Insider Series.


The paper described its creative process as:

We found that by aligning and stacking the images in the order they were taken, we could often convey a sense of place or movement: a sunrise in Earth orbit, Buzz Aldrin at work inside the lunar module Eagle, Michael Collins watching the Eagle maneuvering to rejoin him in orbit.

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