NASA has enough features on its Website to keep virtual space travelers busy for some time. In May, the agency added to its world-class content arsenal with some new dynamic interactive views of the International Space Station and the Mars Rover.
The International Space Station (NASA image)
The Web feature uses Microsoft's Photosynth technology for the simulated 3-D view. The software lets users click on a section of a photograph and zoom way, way in, or quickly move their apparent vantage point, creating the illusion of the ability to completely circle the object in question—although the click-and-drag method for rotating the objects seems to work better with some objects than others.
The offering joins NASA’s many other Web features pushing the boundaries of Web presentation to help the agency educate the public about its mission. So, Government Video is recognizing NASA’s efforts by designating it the first-ever Government Video Website of the Week.
"Photosynth brings the public closer to our spaceflight equipment and hardware," said Bill Gerstenmaier, associate administrator for Space Operations at NASA Headquarters in Washington. "The space station pictures are not simulations or graphic representations but actual images taken recently by astronauts while in orbit. Although you're not flying 220 miles above the Earth at 17,500 miles an hour, it allows you to navigate and view amazing details of the real station as though you were there."
The Photosynth software uses photographs from standard digital cameras to construct a 3-D view that can be navigated and explored online.
It’s all here.
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