Google has expanded its collection of global "Street View" images by adding an amazing assortment of detailed, exciting photographs taken at NASA's Kennedy Space Center.
Google's Street View image collection just got its
first true "out of this world" images with the addition of detailed
photographs taken of retired spacecraft, launching facilities and other notable
scenes at NASA's
Kennedy Space Center
(KSC) on the Florida coast.
Now visitors from almost anywhere on Earth can
"see" and explore the facility through a collaboration with NASA that
allowed Google's Street View equipment to capture 360 degree color images and
place them online for a new generation of spaceflight fans.
our largest Street View collection to date
" teases a Google video that
introduces the collection in an Aug. 2 post by product manager Ryan Falor on
Google's Lat Long Blog. The new KSC
images arrive to commemorate the 50th
of the founding of NASA's Launch Operations Center on July 1,
1962, which would later be renamed as the John F. Kennedy Space Center.
"For 50 years, NASA's Kennedy Space
in Florida has been the launch point for a generation of space
technology and exploration," according to the blog post. "Countless
enthusiasts (including this one) grew up longing to see a space shuttle up
close and walk in the paths of astronauts. Today, a collaboration between NASA
and Street View is enabling people around the world to take a trip to the
doorway to outer space, and see Kennedy as it transitions into a multipurpose
launch complex for the next 50 years of space innovation. This location is our
largest special collection of Street View imagery to date, totaling 6,000
panoramic views of the facilities, and expanding our mission to document the
worlds most amazing places."
The panoramic images are breathtaking, from the
Apollo 14 command module capsule that returned three astronauts from America's
fourth mission to the moon in February 1971, to the Space Shuttle Atlantis
which flew on its maiden voyage in October 1985. Also included are
Iconic images of Launch Pad 39A, which was used for
Apollo and Space Shuttle missions, and of the Apollo/Saturn V Center, where a
real Saturn V engine and the spacesuit worn by Astronaut Alan Shepard on Apollo
14 are on display, are also featured.
Virtual visitors can browse the collection by
clicking on the images and then "steering" through the exhibits using
a control wheel on the top left of each image. Using the controls, visitors can
roam around the KSC displays to learn more about its contents and history.
Also included are images of the famous Vehicle
Assembly Building, where you can see the facility where tall spacecraft were
assembled prior to missions before being slowly transported to launch pads
around the KSC, and images of Launch Firing Room 4, which was used for Space Shuttle missions.
new KSC images are the latest in the Google Street View collection, which also
includes panoramic views of
notable places around the globe
, including Historic Italy, California
National Parks, and highlights of must-see sites in the United States, Poland,
Israel, Russia and the magnificent Swiss Alps.
Googles Street View program has been a source of controversy since it first
started more than five years ago. As part of the program, Google cars have been
sent around the world to take photographs in order to create street-level views
of communities, which then can be accessed by Google users.
In July, Google again drew the ire of British
officials over its Street View program, this time after admitting that it had
not deleted all the personal information collected
by the cars in England
and other countries, as required under a 2010 agreement.