Google Street View: Back Roads and … Space Shuttles

Space shuttle Atlantis being decommissioned at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Image: Google Street View.

Google Street View, useful for finding the restaurant your brother suggested, or checking to see if the place to which you dreamed of moving was in a nice-looking neighborhood, has other hidden nuggets in it. Bustling shops, back roads, and the occasional space shuttle as well.

Google let it be known today that it got permission to shoot at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida - quickly, before the opportunity passed to record what remained of NASA's 30-year space shuttle program.

You can click here to wander around the shuttle Atlantis, being decommissioned so it can go on display at a museum near the space center.

Or you can click here to go to the top of launch pad 39A, which was used for most shuttle launches and dates back to the Apollo moon launches, starting with the first test of the Saturn V booster in 1967.

You may also want to click here to "walk" around one of the three unused Saturn Vs. It's on public display, but the link will save you travel costs if you don't live in Florida.

Saturn V rocket. Google Street View image.

In the last year Google has also included panoramas from Antarctica and the Amazon in Street View - places worth a vicarious visit, even if, strictly speaking, they don't have streets.

The images at Kennedy were taken between Jan. 30 and Feb. 3, said Google. "The goal of these efforts is to provide people from all over the world with the most accurate, high-resolution data of this important historic location," the company said in an email. "Countless enthusiasts grew up longing to see the Space Shuttle up close and walk in the paths of astronauts from around the world."

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