Visit The International Space Station With Google Street View
Google street view now works in outer space. Google Street View partnered with the European Space Agency to create a walk-through of the International Space Station. Taking the street view a little outside the planet Earth, Google now lets you pay a virtual visit and explore the entire habitable portion of the ISS and the interiors of two commercial spacecraft, Orbital ATK’s Cygnus and SpaceX’s Dragon.
While the regular street view let us see places like the Mount Everest, London. etc. navigating the ISS street view image is a bit different from the typical setup. Google also added side notes or as they call them – annotations to the images describing the significance of what you are viewing with additional information on items around the space station, because well, not all of us are bestowed with astronauts like wisdom. Besides, who is not curious about where astronauts eat or sleep, among other things.
Looking at the images, Google and Nasa did an impressive job, considering they were clicked in space. That said, Google’s typical street view wasn’t practical for the space station’s zero gravity therefore Thomas Pesquet, the ESA astronaut (who worked with Google to capture the images), improvised using the DSLR cameras which were already onboard the Space Station. The images were then amalgamated together to create the 360-degree views we see now.
Pesquet said that they “did a lot of troubleshooting” before they could get the images right. “The ISS has technical equipment on all surfaces, with lots of cables and a complicated layout with modules shooting off in all directions—left, right, up, down, And it’s a busy place, with six crew members carrying out research and maintenance activities 12 hours a day.”
Google and the ESA also made a video about the process of creating the simulation.