Aspiring astronauts can now pretend to float on the International Space Station (ISS), thanks to Google. The company worked with astronauts on the orbiting complex to provide a Google Street View of the space station, from its science labs to its beautiful Earth-facing Cupola window.
Thomas Pesquet, a European Space Agency astronaut who helped collect the images earlier this year, said in a blog post that the experience of capturing the tour “describes the feeling of being in space” better than words or a picture can. But there were limitations to collecting the data. For one, astronauts float in space, so the imagery of the ISS couldn’t be captured the same way as other Google Street View locations.
NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston and Marshall Space Flight Center in Alabama worked with Google to create a “gravity-free method of collecting the imagery,” Pesquet said in the blog post. These methods included using DSLR cameras and other equipment already available at the space station. An extended video provides an additional look at how the view came together. (Pesquet didn’t specify the other equipment in the blog post.) [The International Space Station: Inside and Out (Infographic)]
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