We have liftoff

NASA has always been aware of the value of putting its best foot forward for the public, and its latest effort is the virtual tour of the International Space Station.

The tour ' which includes streaming video, graphic data displays and even a user-navigable 360-degree peek at the inside of the station ' packs in a surprising amount of information about how the space station was designed and how astronauts live and work in it.

The video narration is provided by NASA astronaut Mike Fincke, who lived aboard the station for six months as an Expedition 9 science officer and flight engineer.

In addition, the site offers a library of PDF files that contain fact sheets about various aspects of the station.

Truth be told, some features of the site are on the clunky side. The streaming video, for example, is just of Fincke's talking head. There is no actual footage from the station. And the 360-degree navigable view really doesn't offer anything interesting to look at.

But the site is a welcome promise of things to come. It's informative and ' with further implementations of Web 2.0 technologies ' it's bound to get more entertaining.

About the Author

Patrick Marshall is a freelance technology writer for GCN.

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