How You Can Land on the Moon Today, July 20 2009

It’s forty years since Neil Armstrong sundered humankind’s history in two: The era before the Moon landings, and after. Here are a couple ways for you to get involved in Lunar fever online today.

Walter Cronkite

Walter Cronkite’s Famous TV Coverage
Cronkite’s CBS News coverage of the events as they unfolded on live TV is almost as famous as the Moon landings themselves. Consequently, over at Kottke they’re running a re-broadcasting of the news pieces timed to coincide with the real events in 1969. The approach and landing of Eagle onto the Moon’s surface is timed to start at 16:10 EDT, while the moonwalk segment begins at 22:10 EDT.

Somewhat ironically, the low-res YouTube encoding, and smallish video size will probably be a pretty good simulator for the real low-res, tiny-pictured event all those years ago.

Google Earth’s Moon in 3-D
Google Earth has had a Moon plugin for some time, but Google’s just given it a celebratory upgrade that almost lets you re-enact the Apollo landings as if you were there with the astronauts. And you can literally follow in their footprints. The lunar surface is now represented in high-res 3-D, and Google’s added 3-D representations of all the hardware we’ve rocketed onto the surface over the years–including the Apollo lunar modules.

There’s also an interactive simulation of all the different stages of getting the men to the Moon, historic video clips of what they did when they got there, and both Buzz Aldrin and Apollo 17’s Jack Schmitt have contributed narrations that detail how it all was from their point of view.