Virtual visit to space center available

Aug. 2, 2012 at 6:04 PM
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CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla., Aug. 2 (UPI) -- Space enthusiasts can take a virtual walk around NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida thanks to a new partnership between Kennedy and Google Maps, NASA says.

Using Google's Street View technology, Web users can take a virtual stroll through the transfer aisle of the cavernous Vehicle Assembly Building and stand at the top of Launch Pad 39A, NASA reported Thursday.

"Viewers also will get a peek inside areas where flight hardware was processed, including elements of the International Space Station, and planetary and scientific payloads," Lisa Malone, director of KSC Public Affairs, said.

"We are pleased to partner with Google on the new Street View project, which offers the public a behind-the-scenes look at the Kennedy Space Center's unique facilities that launched humans to the moon and Space Shuttles to low Earth orbit," she said.

Google Maps with Street View users can travel the same route the astronauts traveled from the Operations and Checkout Building to the launch pad, stand inside the Firing Room in the Launch Control Center, walk through the high bay of the Space Station Processing Facility and visit the Space Shuttle Main Engine shop.

A crew of five Google Street View personnel spent a week collecting data and 360-degree imagery at Kennedy in early 2012.

"The Street View team tries to go to amazing places around the world, because we know that our users love to see them and experience them online," Ryan Falor, project manager for Google Street View, said.

Visitors can use Google Maps to navigate to Kennedy Space Center, then switch to Street View for an eye-level look at the spaceport.

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