'Starry Night Apollo' gives astronaut's eye view

Imaginova has introduced , a special version of their Mac OS X and Windows-compatible astronomy software designed to give you an astronaut's eye view of space. It costs $29.95 and is available for online purchase and download.

Starry Night turns your Mac into a digital observatory, allowing you to view objects in the night sky from wherever you are on Earth. Starry Night Apollo is actually a completely separate program -- it's not a dataset for the existing product, in other words -- that helps you see outer space from the perspective of the astronauts who flew on NASA's key Apollo missions back in the 1960's and 1970's.

An interactive SkyGuide Tour lets you take a multimedia look at NASA's historic Apollo missions, which ultimately put man on the Moon for the first time, and you can trace inbound and outbound trajectories and lunar descent/ascent trajectories for Apollo 8, 10, 11, 12, 13,14,15, 16 and 17. The software includes accurate 3D models of Apollo spacecraft, including the Saturn V rocket, the Command Service Module and the Lunar Landing Module. You can also visit lunar landing sites for the missions.

The software uses actual data published by NASA, so the simulated trajectories have been made as accurate as possible. You can view points of interest including engine firings to correct trajectory, photographs of the Moon and Earth taken by the crew, television transmissions from space, star sightings used to align the spacecraft's guidance system, and comments the astronauts made during their voyages.

System requirements call for Mac OS X v10.3.9 or later, G3/450MHz or faster (Intel included), 128MB RAM, 900MB hard disk space, 32MB VRAM.

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