Explore Inventions throughout History with Google Arts & Culture’s Collection
What’s the history of the universe? What about the Big Bang (not the TV series)? When you’re immersed in searching for answers to your own tech projects, sometimes you need to take a break. Although using an app to explore answers to the big questions—like the 13.8-billion-year-old story of the universe—may not be the first thing that comes to mind, it could be the spark you need.
The latest Google Arts & Culture project can help with your discovery. Once Upon a Try is an interactive experience delving into millennia of human inventions and achievements, in partnership with CERN, NASA, and more than a hundred museums around the world. With more than four hundred collections, it’s the largest online exhibition of discoveries ever created.
In NASA’s Visual Universe, 127,000 images from NASA archives were cataloged using Google’s machine learning. You can check out the Apollo 11 spacecraft, the Saturn V launch vehicle, and the SpaceX Falcon 9, or even take a 360-degree tour of the Space Shuttle Discovery, hosted by astronauts who once lived inside. Search for a term to learn more about specific spacecraft, missions, and discoveries. Did you know NASA does cancer research in space? Or that an R2 (Robonaut 2) was sent to the International Space Station back in 2011?
You also can embark on a mixed-reality journey through the birth and evolution of the universe, thanks to the Big Bang AR app, through collaboration with CERN and the European Organization for Nuclear Research. (And voice-over narration is provided by Oscar-winning actress Tilda Swinton.) The app uses Google Augmented Reality (ARCore) that’s only supported on certain devices, but if yours is one of them, you can witness stars forming and hold Earth in the palm of your hand.
There are also five stories from CERN that explore and explain the discovery of the Higgs boson, the invention of the World Wide Web, and antimatter, along with a tour of the CERN facility and fun facts about the research center itself.
And as we approach the time when humans set foot on Mars, there’s a visualization of what the SpaceX Interplanetary Transport System could look like, via YouTube. It walks through the art and science of the spacecraft, the launch, and the flight to the red planet.
But it’s not all space and science. You can also learn how influential inventions came to be, from the first arrowheads to more modern creations like the emoji, and even the humble cheeseburger. And get lost in a collection of artists and art movements, from classical to modern, including a documentary about one of the most famous contemporary artists in the world.
In addition to the site, the Once Upon a Try exhibits are also available through the Google Arts & Culture app on Android and iOS, so take an app break and learn something new about the universe around us.