Space station tour not quite out of this world

ON BOARD: NASA's Web site offers visitors an informational, virtual tour of the International Space Station.

NASA, always looking
for public appeal, is offering a
virtual tour of the International
Space Station on its Web site.

The tour (, Quick-
find 816) ' 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, though, some
features 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
implementation 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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