Google has added an interactive 3D terrain and landscape map of the moon to Google Earth as the internet giant celebrates the 40th anniversary of the Moon landings.
Users will need to latest version of Google Earth, 5.0 and they will be able to follow the footsteps of astronauts Jack Schmitt and Buzz Aldrin and the flight of the rover during their trip online.
Michael Weiss-Malik, Product manager of Moon in Google Earth, ecstatically declared that "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."
Google went beyond a simple atlas and manage to integrate recent data captured by Japanese spacecraft Kaguya including some very high resolution video footage captured as it orbited the moon for 20 months.
There's also vast quantities of high resolution panoramic pictures taken from the moon as well as freshly released video footage of the moon from NASA, making it more of an encyclopedia rather than merely an atlas.
Interestingly, Google Earth users, which can also access the oceans, Mars and the sky as well, will be able to browse through content collected from the United States, Japan, the ex-USSR, China, Europe and India.
and join more than 1700 other followers.
Google has been quite enthused about the idea of sending a privately funded device to the moon. The Google Lunar X Prize was created to achieve this goal and comes with a $30 million fund for the winner.
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