Meta partners with Smithsonian on VR moonwalk exhibit

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Meta announced that Meta Immersive Learning is partnering with the Smithsonian on a new virtual reality exhibit called “Futures x Meta: Moonwalk.” This exhibit uses VR to simulate the experience of walking on the Moon’s surface. The Smithsonian Arts and Industries Building (AIB) debuts the experience on May 4 as part of its “Futures” exhibit. It’ll remain up through June 6.

The Moonwalk experience is timed to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the Apollo missions. Visitors put on a Meta Quest 2 headset and see the lunar landscape as if they were the Apollo astronauts. They will be able to see the rover exploring, kick up dust, and listen to the astronauts’ real conversations from the Moon’s surface.

Moonwalk was created by Meta Immersive Learning partners Meridian Treehouse, Black Dot Films, and Sparks. The environment was built with thousands of archival images, 3D scans of the Apollo 11 command module, and NASA mission recordings.

Meta also sees this as being a preview of education in the metaverse. Monica Arés, head of Meta Immersive Learning, said in a statement, “Partnering with the Smithsonian’s Arts and Industries Building allows us to showcase how immersive technology can transform the way we learn by exploring simulated environments. Through a combination of in-person, virtual, and immersive experiences in the metaverse, we can increase access to education and help build a more connected and curious world. ”

The Moonwalk exhibit will be available to explore for free on March 19, as part of “We Interrupt Your Regularly Scheduled Panel: Future Journeys at Your Fingertips.” Visitors who arrive that night can explore an ocean reef and AR art and statues in addition to the Moonwalk.

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