It’s time for a hard truth: It’s probably too late to be an astronaut when you grow up. And even if you could, chances are you’d never set foot on the moon – we haven’t personally visited that luminous satellite in over 40 years.
So, no magical moon missions for you. But thanks to NASA and the Project Apollo Archive, now you can at least feel like you’ve been.
Enter VRtually There, a weekly video series from the USA TODAY network. Using some of the latest state-of-the-art virtual reality technology, they’re giving us a 360 degree first-hand look at how it feels to stand on the surface of the moon.
In 1972, American astronauts Eugene Cernan and Jack Schmitt were the last men to land on the moon. They brought with them an American flag, some Hasselblad cameras, giddy exuberance and a great sense of humor.
This wasn’t your average vacation, and they didn’t take your average snapshots. They took hundreds of detailed photos of the moon’s surface, documenting their landing in exhausting detail. Last year, Project Apollo Archive made available over 8,400 unprocessed, high-resolution photos from that mission.
We’ve stitched 25 of them together into an astonishing panorama that puts you on the surface of the moon with Cernan and Schmitt, clowning around in their spacesuits in the moon’s lower gravity, assembling the flag and gawking at orange soil. Yes, orange.
Check out the full video below, which also includes some crazy cool footage of the world’s fastest roller coaster. To get the epic 360 degree experience, download the USA TODAY app and search for the video in the “VR” section, or view the video below in your phone’s YouTube app.
Subscribe to the Youtube channel here.