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Google offers panoramic views of Kennedy Space Center

Hi-res photography of Space Shuttle HQ

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Reg readers not fortunate enough to have been able to travel to Kennedy Space Center in Florida can now get a closer look at some of the most historic locations in the history of the US space program, thanks to a new collaboration between NASA and Google Street View.

The space agency granted five Google Street View team members access to key areas of Kennedy Space Center, where they spent a week capturing high-resolution imagery with a variety of cameras and tools. The result is a 360-degree photographic recreation of the complex that armchair astronauts can navigate with their web browsers.

Among the locations you can prowl around are the Vehicle Assembly Building, which houses the Space Shuttles Atlantis and Endeavor; the mammoth shuttle launch pad; the space shuttle Main Engine Shop; and Launch Firing Room #4, where you can see what kind of staplers the ground crew uses (but not what's on their computer screens).

Google has provided Street View tours of historic locations before, most notably its recent views of US National Parks. But according to a blog post from Ryan Falor, product manager for Google Street View, this latest effort, which totals 6,000 panoramic views of the Space Center facilities, is its largest special collection yet.

Walk around like you own the place.

"The collaborative effort offers unprecedented views of Kennedy Space Center at a dynamic time for the spaceport," the Space Center's Anna Heiney wrote in a blog post. "Kennedy is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, and continues to transition its facilities and infrastructure from a focus on the Space Shuttle Program, which ended in 2011, to a modern and flexible launch complex."

As enjoyable as the virtual tour is, however, your Reg hack regrets to inform that views of the interior of the shuttle itself are not part of the package. ®

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