SpaceX and NASA from, well, space

Contributed by
Aug 3, 2007
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Regular readers know I have a mole inside the SpaceX company who sends me information. Irritatingly, (s)he only sends me stuff that's already public, but what can you do? You can lance a boil, but you have to tolerate a mole.

Anyway, (s)he mentioned to me the other day that you can see several SpaceX launch facilities using Google Earth! These include the Texas test site, the launch pad in Florida that is being prepared now, and the launch pad in the Marshall Islands they used to get Falcon 1 into space. I saved the files you need to see them:

Launch Pad 40

SpaceX test site in Texas

SpaceX launch pad in the Marshall Islands

Just click them and save them to disk. Use Google Earth to open them. The coolest one may be the Texas test site; you can see the black fan-shaped exhaust burn in the ground:

Also, while fooling around with this, I saw on the Google Earth blog that they have added a new layer to the imagery: you can see astronaut and satellite images of the Earth! In Google Earth, go to the Layers window and click on Featured Content. The NASA layer is there. Check the box, and when you're doing your usual Google Earth stuff, keep an eye out for the NASA logo, which mark places where there are NASA_specific photos. More info on astronaut photography can be found on the NASA site, and if you look closely at that site, you might see my buddy Ed Lu, who took a lot of the NASA imagery featured on Google Earth.