Virtual Yuri

The first cosmonaut has his own AR avatar(s).

AR Gagarin from the Histars app..png
Augmented reality Yuri Gagarin, courtesy of the Histars app.

If you happen to be in Moscow on this 57th anniversary of the first spaceflight, you might stop to take a selfie with Yuri Gagarin. The Russian Histars (History Stars) app (Google Play, App Store) uses your phone’s camera and a bit of augmented reality magic to insert any of several notable Russian heroes, from Peter the Great to Alexander Pushkin, in your photos. That is, if you happen to be standing at one of the app’s more than a dozen designated locations, which include Gorky Park and the Museum of Cosmonautics.

Not in Russia at the moment? You can still take a picture of virtual Yuri using Augment (Google Play, App Store), where you’ll find a whole storehouse of 3D models, including this one of the First Cosmonaut. I took the liberty of placing him in the “white room” from 2001: A Space Odyssey, temporarily on exhibit at the National Air and Space Museum in Washington.

Virtual Yuri
AR Gagarin in the white room from 2001.

If VR is more your thing, put on your glasses to get a simulated view inside Gagarin’s Vostok 1 capsule.

Yuri Gagarin - First Man in Space (360 video inside Vostok-1 spacecraft)

And if you just want to make the cosmonaut’s head spin around (sure, why not?) there’s this. Happy Yuri’s Night!

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