Who recorded the moon landing

Impressive VR simulation of the first moon landing with DLR participation

On June 1, 2019, on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the moon landing, a "Moon Talk" took place in the Deutsches Museum in Munich, in which the Apollo 16 astronaut Charlie Duke also took part in a panel discussion. In the introductory presentation "The first moon landing", Prof. Dr. Gerd Hirzinger, former director of the DLR Robotics and Mechatronics Center, with the help of a virtual reality simulation newly developed with the participation of the German Aerospace Center (DLR), exciting aspects and details of the Apollo 11 mission. The simulation shows the approach and landing of the lander "Eagle", as well as the exit of the astronauts and the exploration of the area around the landing site as well as take-off and return flight to the lunar orbiter.

Using a scientific approach, the scenario and the timing of this mission phase were analyzed and reconstructed in detail using available NASA documents, radio recordings and video recordings. This process became necessary because, according to NASA, the original tapes on which the telemetry was recorded during the mission can no longer be found in the archives.

The reconstructions of the approach trajectory, the landing and the take-off from the lunar surface were carried out at the Institute for System Dynamics and Control Engineering of the DLR in Oberpfaffenhofen. On the basis of the relevant sources, from which the planned flight guidance and individual Eagle runway positions can be found, the scientists calculated a continuous approach course with the position and location of the lander. With the help of precise Modelica system dynamics models and powerful, in-house optimization tools, flight paths (trajectories) that are realistic in terms of physics and flight dynamics were generated, which can be implemented with the installed thrust of the Eagle main engine and also match the documented information on the fuel reserves.

VR-Dynamix GmbH, Munich, is responsible for the overall production of the VR simulation and for the integration of the trajectories. In the near future, the shown VR installation will be expanded to include further visionary elements on the topic of 'Moon Village'. Interested visitors will then be able to experience this planetary world in person in the VRlab, the virtual reality laboratory of the Deutsches Museum. In addition, it is planned to show the VR simulation at the Institute for System Dynamics and Control Technology at the DLR Open House in Oberpfaffenhofen on July 21, 2019, the anniversary day of the first moon landing.