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Google photos celebrate Kennedy Space Center's 50th birthday

Google is honoring a half-century of the Space Center with photos of the space shuttles, an Apollo command module, and the top of a launch pad.


Those of you who've never seen an actual space shuttle or Apollo module up close can now get a taste of the real thing courtesy of Google Street View.

Commemorating the past 50 years of the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, the search giant has unveiled a series of interactive, panoramic Street View photos. Each of the 10 online photos focuses on a different piece of space technology, equipment, or location.

One photo reveals the Atlantis space shuttle from stem to stern. Another highlights the Apollo 14 Command Module. And a third carries you to the top of an actual launch pad.

And just like all Street View photos, the Space Center images are fully interactive. You can zoom in or out, move horizontally or vertically, and "walk" forward or backward to get the full experience. For example, touring the room that's home to the Apollo 14 module displays space suits, flight equipment, and similar items from other Apollo flights.


My eye was caught by a display honoring the "successful failure" of Apollo 13, the famed flight in which NASA engineers struggled to bring home three astronauts after an explosion put their lives in jeopardy. And just as you can in a real museum, you can peek around various walls and corners to discover even more surprises.

NASA teamed up with the Street View team to make the photos a reality, according to Google. The photo exhibition is designed to honor the Space Center not just for the past 50 years of exploration but also for the next 50 years of "space innovation."