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Get an astronaut’s-eye view of space without the rocket

Did you get a chance to watch the launch last weekend? On Saturday, May 30, SpaceX’s Crew Dragon craft launched from the Kennedy Space Center carrying two astronauts to the International Space Station.

The successful launch and landing means yes, we’re finally sending people back into space again.

But for those of us on the ground wishing we were up among the stars, there’s actually a way to get an astronaut’s-eye view of the planet without having to hitch a ride.

NASA’s official Worldview website shows exactly what the Earth looks like from space — complete with weather patterns, the day and night cycle, cloud layers and true, accurate colors derived from satellites.

These views are based on real-time data that constantly saves to Worldview’s records. This means you can actually turn back the clock and see the Earth’s condition a few months ago. You can go as far back as 2001.

There’s even an Events tab that shows you active conditions like wildfires and tropical storms, which is perfect if you’re keeping an eye on any hurricanes a-brewing in the Gulf.

And for the truly geeky among us, Worldview contains a neat Map Projection feature that lets you change the map to an Arctic, geographic or Antarctic perspective. 

If this is getting you hyped up for space travel, you might want to hold your horses for now. Even if space tourism fully emerges, those tickets will no doubt break the bank. On the other hand, NASA Worldview can show you the same thing for free.

Try this site. It’s great stuff!

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