Google creates virtual tour of Kennedy Space Center

To celebrate NASA’s Kennedy Space Center's 50th birthday, Google Street View invites users to discover the landmark site like never before.

Tim Shortt, Florida Today/AP
Men watch inside the Orbiter Processing Facility, at Kennedy Space Center, minutes before the payload bay doors of space shuttle Endeavour were closed Tuesday, June 19, 2012, for the last time. Endeavour is being prepared for public display at the California Science Center in Los Angeles. Its ferry flight to California is targeted for mid-September.

Ever wanted to visit the nation’s launch site for human space flights? Now you can do it without leaving your chair. NASA and Google Street View are collaborating to offer a total of 6,000 panoramic views of the Florida-based facility.

"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," said a spokeswoman in a NASA press release. "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."

Visitors can take a virtual walk through the Operations and Checkout building, visit the nerve center of Launch Complex 39, the Firing Room in the Launch Control Center, and the Space Shuttle Main Engine shop.

NASA reports that it took five people, Google Street View car, a giant tricycle, a wheeled trolley, and a tripod to collect all the images in a week.

"Kennedy Space Center is an obviously amazing location with one-of-a-kind buildings and structures that we knew people would be excited to see,” Ryan Falor, project manager for Google Street View, told NASA. “When I started managing the team, I knew that one of my goals was to bring Street View to NASA and I was thrilled when we got a positive response from Kennedy about the project."

To begin the virtual tour, visit Google's Street View collections site.

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