If you're a science teacher you want to check out this link sometime today. InTechnology Tip Number 31 we showed you Google Earth which is a free download from the internet. Today's free download is called Celestia it will give you access to an interactive version of our solar system and nearest planets.
To the right is a link to a 30 second video showing you what this program looks like. You may need Microsoft Media Player to view the video. Please note that the images in the actual program have much better quality that the video.
Celestia is a free download and to find out more about it follow this link to their website: http://18.104.22.168/celestia/
Here's a guided activity from NASA that uses Celestia:
There's also the option of downloading additional features into Celestia from this website, The Celestia Motherlode. Using this website you can add all kinds of features to the 3D solar system such as the International Space Station, the Hubble Telescope, various satellites and even historical space vehicles like the Liberty Bell 7. They even have a section for fictional space craft for the science fiction enthusiasts.
If you are working in a network environment you may need to contact your network administrator to to download and install the program and the additional features.