A view of the Moon in the new Google Earth feature – pic: Google/Jaxa/Nasa
The interactive 3D “Moonscape” lets users interactively explore the surface of the Earth’s only natural satellite.
It is part of the latest version of the Google Earth software and has several other features, including guided tours from Nasa astronauts.
The launch coincides with Nasa’s release of new video footage showing man’s first Moon landing.
Google Earth’s Moon Product Manager Michael Weiss-Malik said: “Forty years ago, two human beings walked on the Moon. Starting today, with Moon in Google Earth, it’s now possible for anyone to follow in their footsteps.
RevisitedL: the Appolo 11 lunar module
“We’re giving hundreds of millions of people around the world unprecedented access to an interactive 3D presentation of the Apollo missions.”
The Moon add-on has extensive satellite pictures and detailed information about the lunar surface – as well as detailed panoramas of the lunar landing sites.
“Each of the Apollo landing missions is chronicled in detail through pictures and stories,” said Mr Weiss-Malik.
“We’ve even embedded video footage from Spacecraft Films that covers the most well-known moments on the surface.
“There are also immersive lunar surface panoramas, composed of photos taken by the astronauts themselves, presented for the first time in a 3D Street View-style interface,” he added.
Users can also learn about the various types of equipment humans have left on the Moon and where those objects lie today. Artefacts from the US, the Soviet Union, China, the EU, Japan, and India are included – some as 3D models.
:: Google Moon is available in version 5 of Google Earth.