Watch astronaut Charlie Duke inside the Apollo 11 Experience

Posted July 24, 2015 by Jamie O'Dwyer in News

Apollo 16 astronaut General Charlie Duke walks on the surface of the moon with thanks to Oculus and Immersive VR Education.

On Saturday 18th of July Apollo 16 astronaut General Charlie Duke attended the opening of the Gateway to Space exhibition in Brussels where Irish company Immersive VR Education had a virtual reality installation of their upcoming Apollo 11 experience.

General Charlie Duke walked on the moon in 1972 and was lunar module pilot for the Apollo 16 mission where he spent three days on the moons surface.  General Duke also served as CAPCOM for Apollo 11, the first landing on the Moon, where his distinctive Southern drawl became familiar to audiences around the world. As CAPCOM, he became the voice of a Mission Control nervous by a long landing that almost expended all of the Lunar Module Eagle’s fuel. Dukes first words to the Apollo 11 crew on the surface of the Moon were flustered, “Roger, Twank… Tranquility, we copy you on the ground. You got a bunch of guys about to turn blue. We’re breathing again. Thanks a lot!”

Charlie was also part of the backup crew for Apollo 13 before finally getting his own mission on Apollo 16.

Originally Immersive VR Education were only due to have 10 minutes of the Generals time however immediately it became clear that the General was enjoying the experience and he sat through the complete 18 minutes of the demo on show.  The 79 year old astronaut said very little throughout the experience but he did give the thumbs up to Buzz Adrian and Michael Collins as the Saturn V rocket took off. He looked around quite a lot and it was an amazing moment watching him stand on the surface of the moon just as Neil took his first step off the lander.

As soon as General Duke took off the Oculus virtual reality headset he said “ Wow that’s fantastic, it really is something “  he went on to say “ The command module is exactly right and as far as the moons surface goes it’s pretty similar to what we saw when we were up there “. Later in conversation he said “What a way to learn about history”.

The Apollo 11 virtual reality experience is still in development and is set to be released Q1 next year on the Oculus Rift, Sony’s Project Morpheus and HTC Vive virtual reality headsets. The full experience puts you in the shoes of Neil Armstrong and you get to complete the full mission from takeoff to landing on the moon and returning safely to earth.

Immersive VR Education are focused on reforming how educational content is provided to students using Virtual Reality Technology. Virtual Reality (VR) is an artificial environment that is created with software and presented to the user in such a way that the user suspends belief and accepts it as a real environment. This artificial or virtual environment is displayed to use user using a HMD “head mounted display”.

More info can be found at www.immersivevreducation.com

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About the Author

Jamie O'Dwyer

Jamie is currently a student of Waterford Institute of Technology where he studies Multimedia Applications Development. He's always been a huge gamer ever since he owned his first console, the Sega Megadrive

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