In conjunction with the 40th anniversary of Apollo 11, Google has scheduled a press conference in Washington, DC on July 20th to make a “very special announcement about the newest addition to Google Earth.”
The blogosphere is awash with speculation as to what the Internet search giant might announce. Most ofÂ it focuses on an upgraded Google Moon program with 3-D mapping, much as the company did for Google Earth.
Presumably, the improved program will include data from Japanese, Indian and Chinese spacecraft that have been recently orbiting the moon.Â JAXA’s Kaguya (SELENE) orbiter returned high-definition video showing the lunar surface in unprecedented detail. The project’s manager, Professor Susumu Sasaki, will deliver a video message of support.
The Mountain View, Calif.-based company is also sponsoring the Google Lunar X Prize, which offers a $30 million award to the first private group to land a rover on the lunar surface. The Apollo 11 anniversary would be an excellent time toÂ make any announcements concerningÂ the competition.Â
The speaker’s list includes:
Apollo 11 astronaut
Senior Vice President, Engineering and
First private female space explorer,
Trustee, X PRIZE Foundation
Author of A Man on the Moon
Senior NASA officials
There will be video messages of support from:
Film director and explorer
Professor Susumu Sasaki
JAXA SELENE project manager
The event will be held at:
555 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W.
Washington, DC 20001
Monday, July 20, 2009
10:30 am â€“ 11:30 am
Registration at 6th Street entrance
11:30 am â€“ 12:30 pm
Press event and presentation