NASA released its first digital graphic novel featuring the first woman to walk on the moon, allowing readers to explore space through interactive experiences.
Nicknamed “First Woman: NASA’s Promise to Humanity,” the graphic novel tells the story of a fictional astronaut named Callie Rodriguez, the first woman and person of color to land on the lunar surface, and her fellow robot RT. The story aims to inspire the next generation of explorers, according to a NASA statement.
“Many of the things that [Callie] goes through, I think many people experience in their lives, overcoming challenges and difficulties. But she continued to persevere to eventually become an astronaut and become the first woman to set foot on the lunar surface, “Derek Wang, director of communications for NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate, told Space.com.
Video: Check out NASA’s interactive graphic novel ‘First Woman
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“What’s also unique about this, too, is that this is the first audio graphic novel that NASA has published,” Wang said, adding that the creators of the graphic novel were focused on making it as accessible as possible. “We wanted to make sure that people with disabilities, or those who might be visually impaired, could also be part of our experience, so we created a very nice audio-graphical version of the narration, which includes really nice descriptions of all the scenes. . “
The digital comic also includes augmented reality features, “so as you read the comic, if you want to learn more about certain aspects or different technologies throughout the comic, we have embedded QR codes that actually activate elements of augmented reality.” Said Wang. “In order for you to be in the lunar outposts, you can be on the lunar surface, [and] you can explore the space launch system that will take our next group of astronauts to the moon. “
(Image credit: NASA)
The first issue, titled “Dream to Reality,” was released on September 25 in honor of National Comic Book Day, and just days before World Space Week, an international celebration that runs from October 4-10. with this theme of the year that celebrates women in space.
“Callie’s story captures how passion, dedication and perseverance enable us to make our dreams come true,” said Pam Melroy, NASA Deputy Administrator, in the statement. “Callie, like me, developed her skills, took advantage of learning opportunities, and overcame the challenges to become a NASA astronaut. Her diversity is reflected in our own corps of astronauts today – it’s important that we get to see ourselves. same as explorers among the stars. “
As the first woman and person of color to go to the moon, Callie’s story represents historical milestones from NASA’s planned Artemis missions. The first issue follows Callie’s journey from traveling, landing, and exploring the moon with her partner, RT. You can interact with the couple by scanning QR codes on the digital novel or using the WebAR link to experience the story through augmented reality, according to the NASA statement.
Related: How NASA’s Moon Landing on Artemis Works with Astronauts
The 40-page comic was written by Brad Gann and Steven List, and illustrated by Brent Donoho and Kaitlin Reid. Interactive components include life-size environments, such as the lunar surface, and 3D objects, such as NASA’s Orion spacecraft. The novel also includes videos, games, and challenges to earn collector badges and ways for readers to virtually participate in NASA missions.
“We created this graphic novel and this digital ecosystem to share NASA’s work in a different and exciting way,” Wang said in the statement. “We set out to make content engaging and accessible. From space fans of all ages to hard-working educators looking for new ways to get students excited about STEM, we hope there is something for everyone to enjoy.”
You can download the digital graphic novel to your smartphone or listen to the audio version exclusively on NASA’s SoundCloud. The First Woman app is available for Android or iOS devices. NASA also plans to release a Spanish version of the story, which will be available on its website in the future, according to the statement.
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