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NASA's AR graphic novel is meant to recruit a new wave of astronauts

'First Woman' may teach you a few things, too.
NASA's 'First Woman' augmented reality graphic novel
NASA
Jon Fingas
Jon Fingas|@jonfingas|September 25, 2021 4:49 PM

NASA clearly needs more astronauts if programs like Artemis are to be successful, and it thinks it has a clever sales pitch: a tech-savvy comic. The space agency has released an augmented reality graphic novel, First Woman, that tells the tale of the fictional Callie Rodriguez as she becomes (what else?) the first woman to land on the Moon. You can read the 40-page first issue as-is, but NASA really wants you to download a companion mobile app (for Android and iOS) or scan codes to experience environments and objects in a more engaging way.

Point your phone at special "XR" codes (through the app) or QR codes (if you prefer the web) and you can tour the Orion spacecraft, the Moon and other objects. You can also play games, watch videos and earn badges.

You can also listen to an audio version. NASA is also promising a Spanish-language version of the novel sometime in the future. The administration isn't shy about treating First Woman as a recruiting drive, but it may well be worth a download if you want to foster your kids' interests in space and science — and possibly learn a thing or two about NASA's long-term plans.

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NASA's AR graphic novel is meant to recruit a new wave of astronauts