Google Street View has been inside the world’s major museums, under the ocean and to the tops of mountains. Now, Google has claimed outer space as its latest “street view” frontier and launched an online 360° virtual tour of the International Space Station.
No, Google didn’t send its camera-bearing vans up into the stratosphere to capture life in the neighborhood of astronauts. Instead, it used the cameras that are already on board the Space Station to take pictures of the craft’s interior. Because this is like nowhere you’ve seen before, you might want to get a true insiders’ view of the place first to get your bearings (you’ll also learn how the toilet works and what happens to the toothpaste on an astronaut’s toothbrush). Watch this video, then use the navigation tools on the Google map below it to move through the space station.
Ready to tour the Space Station by yourself? You’ll recognize some of the spots that you saw in the video. A couple of things we spotted: Among the wires, a copy of the “Oxford Atlas of the World” (was that some astronaut’s joke?); and a couple of Space Station residents hanging out—in their white suits, they’re almost camouflaged against the background. Share any surprises you’re able to spot in the comments section.
Ready? If you’re unsure how to use the navigation tools, watch this YouTube video (start at 1:51 seconds).