Google Moon Gets Major Updates

    September 14, 2007

When I think of incredible sights, a bunch of bumpy gray rock is not the first thing that comes to mind.  But toss in some astronauts and a few lunar rovers, and now we’re talking.  And now Google’s showing – an updated version of Google Moon has become available.

This update brings higher-resolution map imagery, text search, and photos and stories from every Apollo landing,” stated Michael Weiss-Malik, a software engineer, on the Google LatLong Blog.

He then continued, “We even included Street View-style panoramas of the moon’s surface, taken by the Apollo astronauts … something you won’t see anywhere else.  And last but certainly not least, we tossed in scientific charts that are good enough for actual mission planning and science classrooms alike.”

Of course, that “actual mission planning” phrase is a reference to the Google Lunar X Prize, which was announced yesterday.  (A team from Carnegie Mellon University has already entered the competition.)  Anyone intending to use Google Moon for any purpose will need to show some patience, however, as the site doesn’t seem to be running as fast as it might.

In other Google- and space-related news, there’s been a great deal of discussion about the company’s use of NASA’s airstrip.  And given all these goings-on, it wouldn’t be too surprising if the Google Copernicus Center turned out not to be a joke.