First woman is the first in a series of graphic novels from NASA to use AR to enhance your reading experience.
NASA’s first ever AR-powered graphic novel First Woman: NASA’s Promise for Humanity tells the story of the fictional character Callie Rodriguez and her dreams of being the first woman of color to set foot on the moon.
Written by Brad Gann and Steven List and illustrated by Brent Donoho and Katilin Reid in collaboration with the National Institute of Aerospace, First Woman: NASA’s Promise for Humanity is intended to inspire those interested in a career in space. The story itself follows Callie Rodriguez’s career, from her childhood making spacesuits out of cardboard boxes to her career at NASA building her robot, RT (named after her father).
Throughout the novel, you will encounter various QR and XR codes that can be used to unlock various interactive AR experiences using the First Woman app available on iOS and Android devices. Once unlocked, you can go through scenes from history and explore real-world technologies used by NASA to help astronauts live sustainably on the moon. You also get access to fun interactions with Callie’s sidekick robot, RT, and even experience some of the challenges of becoming a First Woman Mission Specialist!
Derek Wang, Director of Communications for NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate, spoke with VRScout about their first ever AR-powered graphic novel and NASA’s Artemis program: our story is about the first woman and color color who did this. ”said Wang, adding:” Although she is a fictional character, the challenges she faces in the graphic novel and the technical aspects of the story are all real. ”
When asked why NASA chose to use AR, Wang said: “We chose to use AR because we knew that people react differently to how they receive information. By putting it into a graphic novel, we knew that people love to read the pages, but with the AR section, we are able to allow for an extra experience that we could not illustrate on the page. ”
Using your mobile device, you can explore NASA’s Lunar Outpost and see what it’s like to stand on the moon’s surface. You can even get a life-size look at the new astronaut suits that are under development right now. “It’s another way to be able to connect the reader with more content that we do at NASA,” Wang added.
In the same interview, Shannon Messner, Sr. Design / Illustrator, which supports NASA SE&I and the Artemis program, talked about why they chose New York Comic Con to debut their new graphic novel, saying: “It is important that we spread knowledge about NASA. People think NASA is just science and engineers, but in reality, art is incredibly important at NASA, especially the art of storytelling, adding: “We’re going back to the moon during the Artemis missions and through the first woman’s graphic novel, we can inspire the next generation of explorers, and Comic-Con is full of future explorers! ”
Along with incredible artwork, storytelling and AR content, First Woman: NASA’s Promise for Humanity also includes a sound experience that you can access via one Soundcloud link. “We wanted to create a sound experience for visually impaired people. We wanted as many people as possible to experience this story. We also think this would be great for the classroom. Said Wang.
WithFirst Woman: NASA’s Promise for Humanity, NASA hopes to inspire the next generation of space scientists. First Woman: NASA’s Promise For Humanity is the first issue of NASA’s series of graphic novels.
You can download number 1 of the series here. The First Woman app is available on both iOS and Android devices. The audio experience is available at Soundcloud.
Feature Image Credit: NASA