A view of the moon in the new feature of Google Earth 5.0

Forty years ago Neil Armstrong took man’s first step on the Moon. And to mark the historic occasion Google Earth has taken the same leap in cyberspace.  (Video)


The search engine leader today launched Moon in Google Earth, an interactive 3D atlas of the moon which allows space fans to take their very own virtual steps on the surface of our closest satellite.

‘Forty years ago, two human beings walked on the moon. Starting today, with Moon in Google Earth, it’s now possible for anyone to follow in their footsteps,’ said Moon in Google Earth Product Manager, Michael Weiss-Malik.

‘We’re giving hundreds of millions of people around the world unprecedented access to an interactive 3D presentation of the Apollo missions.’

The incredible experience, which is a new addition to Google Earth 5.0, was announced today in a presentation at the Newseum in Washington, DC.


Users can explore a virtual ‘Moonscape’ and follow the route of a rover

With Moon in Google Earth, space enthusiasts can explore a ‘virtual Moonscape’ in three dimensions, and see the topography of the lunar surface for themselves.

Guided tours from astronauts Buzz Aldrin (Apollo 11) and Jack Schmitt (Apollo 17) give first-hand accounts of the celebrated missions.

Users can view and zoom in on impressive panoramic photos of the moon in the style of Google’s controversial Street View web service.

moon3Moon in Google Earth takes you back to the Apollo era to discover the landing sites of Apollo missions 11-17

Previously unreleased video footage captured from the lunar surface and the astronauts’ own descriptions of the places they discovered give exciting new insights into the lunar missions. 

Whether they are rediscovering the iconic moments in the history of moon exploration or learning about them for the first time, Moon in Google Earth enables users to better understand the Moon, and our relationship to it.

The most recent tool to have been developed as a result of the Space Act Agreement between Google and Nasa, Moon in Google Earth makes information about the Moon accessible to anyone in 3D.

‘Today’s announcement builds on the ongoing relationship with Google that Ames Research Center initiated in November 2006 when we signed a Space Act Agreement to foster collaboration with our Silicon Valley neighbor,’ said S. Pete Worden, Director of Nasa Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif.

moon4 One section holds Apollo-era geologic and topographic maps of the Moon that were used by mission control

‘We’re excited to be a part of this latest chapter in Google’s efforts to bring virtual exploration of the Moon to anyone with a computer.’

In addition to satellite imagery and terrain, Moon in Google Earth includes geologic and topographic maps that were used in mission control during the Apollo era.

A section dedicated to human artifacts show the various types of exploratory equipment that humans have left on the Moon and where let’s users zoom in on the points on the moon’s surface where those objects can still be found today.

Artifacts from the United States, the Soviet Union, China, the EU, Japan, and India are included, some of them as 3D models.

To experience Moon in Google Earth, open Google Earth 5.0 and switch modes from ‘Earth’ to ‘Moon’ on the top toolbar.


Via Daily Mail