Google Street View now allows users to visit the International Space Station, the latest in a series of landmarks that you can now explore.
Google has been going beyond paved roads and allowing users to tour the Great Barrier Reef and other landmarks, and they’ve just added a new one to the list: the International Space Station. Google announced last week that its map imagery tool known as Street View will allow everyone to get an in-depth look from inside the space station.
It provides a panoramic 360-degree view of everything in the ISS, including what kind of things the astronauts on board are up to. You can either stare out of the cupola at the incredible views of our planet below, or you can roam throughout the space station to see just what it looks like from an astronaut’s point of view.
“The International Space Station is a marvel of modern science and engineering,” Google says on the description of the video, embedded below. “Astronauts have occupied the pressurized modules for over 16 years, and now you can explore their work and living spaces in Google Street View. From the research, to the ‘orbital outhouse’ to the inspirational views back down to Earth from the cupola.”
Google goes on to explain the cupola on the Street View website as follows: “The Cupola (named after the raised observation deck on a railroad caboose) is a small module designed for the observation of operations outside the ISS such as robotic activities, the approach of vehicles, and extravehicular activity (EVA). It was built in Europe by Thales Alenia Space Italy (TAS-I) under contract of the European Space Agency. It provides spectacular views of Earth and celestial objects. The Cupola has six side windows and a direct nadir viewing window, all of which are equipped with shutters to protect them from contamination and collisions with orbital debris or micrometeorites. The Cupola is designed to house the robotic workstation that controls the ISS’s remote manipulator arm. It can accommodate two crewmembers simultaneously and is berthed to the Earth facing side of Node-3 using a Common Berthing Mechanism (CBM).”