Monday, August 6, 2012

A "Space Age" Dream Come True

Fifteen years ago, i had the luck to be allowed to enter the Kennedy Space Center for a special photographic report for a french magazine. I was allowed to go almost everywhere including the legendary Vehicle Assembly Building where all Space Shuttle and the huge Saturn V rockets were assembled. I went also in the facility where the space shuttles were repaired between two missions and was almost as close as the space shuttle than i am right now of my computer writing this article. Then i had lunch in the NASA Space Center restaurant, surrounded by NASA people including probably some astronauts. People of the press office have been wonderful and delivered to me some amazingly beautiful printed pictures from the NASA photo library and you'll seen one of them tomorrow in my next post talking about how a former Mercury missions astronaut became a WDI Imagineer.

It was an awesome day and it happened because at that time we still were in the pre-Sept 11 era, in a time where the "system" didn't yet became totally paranoid. Of course, now it will be probably more difficult to have the authorization to come inside what was known previously as Cape Canaveral, and the fact that we entered the digital age doesn't help as photographers have less good reasons to come inside the Kennedy Space Center now that they they can download pictures directly from the NASA website.

That said i have a great news for you as you'll be able to visit right now the same places where i've been fifteen years ago. And this thanks to Google Maps as the Google guys in partnership with NASA have been inside Kennedy Space Center and were allowed to shoot inside the most famous locations just like they do when the Google car is taking pictures of your street. All you have to do is to go at THIS LINK and there you go for an exclusive look inside what was considered as the holy of the holies by any space age fans.

Ready for the visit? Then here is a selection of the places in which you'll be able to "walk in" as Google Street allows you to move all around a place, turn left or right, or look up and down. The top picture shows you of course the Endeavour space shuttle. If you move a bit you'll be able to see next to it the Atlantis space shuttle, both being if i'm right in the huge Vehicle Assembly Building. Don't forget to look up to the ceiling to see how huge this building is. The VAB was built in the 1960's when NASA needed it to assemble the huge Saturn V rockets for the Apollo missions.

Not so far you'll be able to move inside the facility where are the Space Shuttle main engines.

Another great location that you can explore is the famous Firing Room 4 from where were launched the legendary NASA rockets in their missions to the Moon.

You'll be allowed also to move inside the Firing Room 3!

Then you can go and explore the famous launch pad 39A and move around not only at the bottom...

...but also at the top of it with spectacular views of the Space Center and the ocean nearby.

Amond others locations inside the Kennedy Space Center you'll find the Space Station Processing Facility but Google Street also have been in the other Space Center, the one that tourists can visit where can be seen most of the famous NASA rockets. Below, the huge Saturn V rocket, the one which was used for the missions to the moon.

Others locations include the room with the Apollo 14 Command Module where you'll see also a collection of astronauts suits!

NASA and Google have released a video to introduce all this and here it is below.

To be able to move inside and explore these legendary places is really something that you must not missed and, again, HERE is the direct link to the Google page. Enjoy the tour!

Screen Captures: copyright Google - NASA

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