That’s one small step for Google Inc., one giant leap for space fans everywhere.
Forty years after Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin stepped down from their Eagle landing craft and took the first human steps on the surface of the moon, Google is launching a new tool designed to allow space enthusiasts and the rest of the world to digitally retrace their historic footsteps.
On Monday, the search engine giant unveiled Moon in Google Earth, an interactive, three-dimensional atlas of the Moon as part of its Google Earth 5.0 satellite imaging and mapping software, to celebrate the fortieth anniversary of Mr. Armstrong and Mr. Aldrin’s historic sojourn on the lunar surface on July 20, 1969.
“Forty years ago, two human beings walked on the Moon,” said Michael Weiss-Malik, product manager for Moon in Google Earth. “Starting today, with Moon in Google Earth, it’s now possible for anyone to follow in their footsteps. We’re giving hundreds of millions of people around the world unprecedented access to an interactive 3D presentation of the Apollo missions.”
Google Earth users can use the new upgrade to explore the Moon through panoramic photos, previously unreleased NASA video footage shot on the lunar surface and follow along as Mr. Aldrin and Apollo 17 astronaut Jack Schmitt offer guided video tours of the Moonscape.