Explore the Forefront of Japanese Space Science with Google Maps

Wednesday, September 12, 2012 at 8:00 AM


September 12th is “Space Day” in Japan, and we are celebrating by releasing new, comprehensive Street View imagery for two of Japan’s top scientific institutions: the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and the National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation (Miraikan). With panoramic imagery in and around these locations now available via the Street View feature of Google Maps, space enthusiasts around the world have a more complete and accurate sense of what it’d be like to virtually swap places with an astronaut.

The JAXA imagery allows you to walk through the Tanegashima Space Center (TNSC) down on the idyllic beach island of Tanegashima. TNSC is the site from which the Kounotori 3 rocket recently lifted off to send supplies (and the YouTube Space Lab winning experiments) to the International Space Station. You can start your tour of the TNSC facilities with a look inside the Space Science Technology Museum at the Southern tip of the island, and then a peek in the nearby Control Room.




Next, check out the launch pad with the huge open areas and launch tower.



Beyond the TNSC, you can also explore the immersive imagery from the JAXA facilities at Tsukuba Space Center, Sagamihara Campus, Chofu Air and Space Center, Earth Observation Center, Usuda Outer Space Observatory, and the Uchinoura Space Center.

In addition, today’s release also includes 360-degree views of the National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation, known in Japan as the “Miraikan.” Now, you’re able to virtually walk inside the museum and see the famous “Geo Cosmos” hanging Earth model, as well as the other permanent exhibits like the model of the International Space Station.



We thank JAXA and the Miraikan for working with us to collect and share the new Street View imagery for these breathtaking and important sites of space innovation and technology. We hope the imagery on Google Maps brings the science of outer space much closer to people around the world.