JFK Library Launches AR Recreation of Apollo 11 Mission in Celebration of 50th Anniversary of Moon Landing

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JFK Library Launches AR Recreation of Apollo 11 Mission in Celebration of 50th Anniversary of Moon Landing

-- App features first-ever full-scale augmented reality simulation of the Saturn V Rocket launch and will take users on the five-day journey from the Earth to the Moon --

Boston MA – The John F. Kennedy Presidential Library today announced the release of JFK Moonshot, an immersive, augmented reality experience that celebrates the 50th anniversary of the first Moon landing and President Kennedy’s vision that launched the effort. Created by Digitas, The Connected Marketing Agency, and sponsored by Raytheon, JFK Moonshot features the first-ever full-scale augmented reality simulation of the Saturn V Rocket launch and will take users on the five-day journey from the Earth to the Moon.

JFK Moonshot immerses users in the Apollo 11 mission from 1969 with a first-ever full-scale recreation of the 363-ft Saturn V Rocket that can be seen with the app on its landing pad outside of the JFK Library in Boston beginning today. The full-scale AR rocket will launch at 9:32am ET, from the Library on July 16, 2019, exactly 50 years after Apollo 11 began its journey to the Moon. Users who cannot visit the JFK Library, will be able to relive the launch anywhere in the world on July 16 with a tabletop version of the AR Apollo 11 rocket. The event livestream will begin prior to the launch.

From July 16-20, the app will take users on a five-day journey from the Earth to the Moon, providing people anywhere in the world the opportunity to view 120+ hours of real-time tracking simulation. As the longest-running AR powered live-stream experience available, the mission simulation is made possible by combining 3D digital assets and actual archival footage and audio recordings.

“President Kennedy set a seemingly impossible goal to reach the Moon and then marshalled the resources, talent, and national commitment that led to one of the greatest achievements in human history,” said Steven Rothstein, Executive Director of the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation. “Fifty years after the first Moon landing, we sought to harness that innovative spirit in bringing this riveting moment to life again. We hope that JFK Moonshot will inspire new generations to spark the next great advancement for humankind.”

“We’re thrilled to celebrate one man’s imagination made real for today’s generation of dreamers by recreating a 50-year-old story with a modern medium, Augmented Reality,” said Sue DeSilva, Digitas Boston’s EVP/Exec Dir, Creative. “Digitas’ strategy, creative, media and tech teams collaborated to reconnect today’s generation with a pivotal and historic moment through the medium that was as unthinkable as when JFK announced his Moon shot vision.”

The “JFK Moonshot” AR experience will offer four distinct “chapters” for users to engage with the story:

  • Launch: On July 16, witness the fully-synchronized augmented retelling of the Saturn V rocket launch, either at the Library or with the tabletop version.
  • Track: Follow the Apollo 11 mission in real time with archival NASA footage from July 16–20, as it makes its five-day journey to the moon. Record and share the most epic moments of the mission with friends and family.
  • Log: Discover JFK’s vision for the space program and Apollo 11 insider facts through education multimedia experiences.
  • Play: Test your JFK knowledge with 6 interactive AR games that dive deeper into the mission and put them in the astronauts’ Moon boots.

Once downloaded, app users can take a deeper dive into President Kennedy’s vision for his moon shot and space program with interactive AR games, archival video footage and historical artifacts of John F. Kennedy’s time as President. On launch day, July 16th, users can attend the official Apollo 11 launch celebration at the JFK Library in Boston, MA to witness the AR rocket launch. Users not in Boston can place the virtual rocket launch at home and then follow the five-day journey from the Earth to the Moon.

The app is available for Apple and Android devices on iTunes and Google Play by searching JFK Moonshot or linked directly from www.jfkmoonshot.org.

JFK Moonshot was made possible with the generous support of lead sponsor Raytheon Company. Additional support was provided by Digitas, BNY Mellon, the Boeing Company, and Weber Shandwick. Text and photos provided by NASA. Digitas teamed up with UNIT9, a global production partner, to create the app.

About the JFK Library’s Celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the Moon Landing

In 1962, in a landmark speech at Rice University, President Kennedy issued a soaring challenge to the country: to land a man on the Moon within a decade and bring them safely back to Earth. It was vision of human achievement that was then unimaginable. But it wasn’t just a speech. With determination and clarity of purpose, President Kennedy marshaled the resources, talent, and political will to realize that bold vision, and lit the spark that enabled a generation of Americans to achieve one of the greatest milestones in human history. In July 1969, the Apollo 11 mission successfully landed the first two human beings on the Moon and then safely returned to Earth.

With the support of lead sponsor Raytheon Company, the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation and the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum are holding a year-long celebration of the Apollo 11 mission with programming that will challenge Americans to learn from the past, draw inspiration from President Kennedy’s vision, and recommit ourselves to taking on the challenges of our own time. Featured events and programs include:

  • JFK Space Summit: In celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Moon landing and President Kennedy’s vision that launched the effort to get there, on June 19, the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, with Ambassador Caroline Kennedy, will host a day-long symposium highlighting the history that led to the first Moon landing, current scientific and technological space initiatives, and the future of space exploration.
  • Space Fest 2019: On July 20, the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 lunar landing, the JFK Library will offer a series of on-site commemorative events, speakers, and activities for all ages including presentations on spacesuit engineering, the science of rocketry, and a behind-the-scenes look at space artifacts.
  • JFK Space Labs: The John F. Kennedy Library Foundation, in partnership with Raytheon, launched two programs to engage students in space exploration through STEM learning. Students nationwide will have access to experiments like those performed on the International Space Station. Additionally, in commemoration of President Kennedy’s vision and commitment to opening new frontiers, middle and high schools named for the president will be eligible for space education grants.
  • College Symposia: NASA personnel are being featured speakers at select universities nationwide to collaborate with technology and engineering students on the thinking that is driving the technology innovation of the future.

The John F. Kennedy Library Foundation is a 501(c)(3), non-profit organization founded in 1984 to provide financial support, staffing, and creative resources for the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, a presidential library administered by the National Archives and Records Administration. The Kennedy Presidential Library and the Kennedy Library Foundation seek to promote, through educational and community programs, a greater appreciation and understanding of American politics, history, and culture, the process of governing and the importance of public service.

Digitas is The Connected Marketing Agency, committed to helping brands better connect with people through Truth. Connection. Wonder. With diverse expertise in data, strategy, creative, media, and tech, we work across capabilities and continents to make better connections and achieve ambitious outcomes through ideas that excite, provoke and inspire. Curious and fully transparent, we are always examining real human behavior to create authentic connections— between brands and consumers, clients and partners, and ideas and outcomes. Digitas has 3,500 employees across 19 countries and 35 offices, with an extended network via Publicis Media of over 23,500 employees present in more than 100 countries worldwide. To connect with Digitas or learn more, visit www.digitas.com

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