Permanent Human Settlement of the Earth, Space and Ocean Frontiers

Friday, March 17, 2006

Riding A Spaceship From Your Front Yard

When I was just a youngster, I wanted to launch a spaceship from my front yard to Mars. No kidding. I even developed this incredibly elaborate fantasy-dream where I actually did this in my imagination. One of the things I remember about my imagineered spacecraft was a large mirror outside my window, so that even though I was lying on my back, I could look out and see the world disappear beneath me until I was far, far away from the earth as I watched my front yard and the earth recede in the distance.

Well, I never actually got around to building that spaceship. Life and a few other ugly realities interposed themselves in front of my great plans. However, just the day before yesterday, I was able to actually see my fantasy happen, just like I planned! I’m not joking! And I’m about to tell you not only how I did it, but how you can too! And the best part about it – it’s absolutely FREE – not to mention absolutely real.

The first thing you need to do is to load the software called Google Earth. I provided a link to that at the bottom.

When GOOGLE EARTH loads, it springs up on your screen with a navigation console. With it you can go anywhere on earth you’d like, zooming in from space, and then taking back off for space after you’re done exploring. One of the coolest features is the tilt and pan feature on the navigation bar that allows you to fly over your chosen spot from any angle of attack! Check out the zoom bar too – you can navigate it at easy to use and gentle speeds – or roar away at warp speeds – you decide.

There is an empty box at the left top of the navigation screen. In there you can put a latitude – longitude or even a street address and the awesome almost magic Google Space Machine will take you there! It’s nothing less than absolutely amazing.

So what I’d like to do is to show you where I lived as a boy and my front yard, if you’d like to go to northeast Oklahoma in the country and look around with me. Just cut and paste this address in the empty navigation bar:

35 51 33.9 N 95 42 54.43 W

Now – press on the magnifying glass button to the right of the bar and wait for Google Earth to take you down gently and float. It will stop, hovering above my house at right about 4,000 feet. Go ahead now and press the zoom lever (+) in the center of the screen and zoom all the way on down to my former-front yard! Now back off on the zoom bar and fly into orbit at whatever speed you wish! I believe the zoom out feature will take you about 1/3 of the distance to the moon before it stops.

Now play with the easy to use controls and see if you can find your own home or ANY place on earth you wish to look at. You can then save these places for a quick return later (highly recommended because some places are sometimes difficult to find from space.) Again, Google also allows you to put in a street address in the event you have one (my old home does not have one except a rural route address which Google does not accept, of course!)

The address to download this free treasure is found by clicking here. Happy exploring – and don’t forget to visit the old homestead in Oklahoma!