Google Street View gave flat-Earth truthers another reason to doubt their beliefs by opening up the airlocked doors to the International Space Station. Now anyone with access to the navigational tool can explore the layout of one of mankind’s greatest achievements from the comfort of your own home.
Street View is typically used to help people find their way to a particular destination, or explore remote parts of the world which they may not otherwise have access to. This latest update really embodies that second use, though it is not technically part of the world but is in our orbit.
Made up of a collection of images of everything from the station, to the cupola Earth-viewpoint module, space fans can now explore every inch of the ISS to get a better look at what the last 16 years of construction have achieved. There are modules for science and engineering, sleeping quarters and a series of windows with a unique view of the world, all available for anyone to look at.
Taking the opportunity to educate virtual visitors to the space station, NASA has provided a number of descriptions of specific modules and equipment within them. There is a whole paragraph on the WHC, or waste and hygiene compartment, which deals with much of the solid and liquid waste from the astronauts aboard the station. That is just one of the many detailed descriptions you can dig into though.
Be prepared to drag around your view a little more than a standard Street View session because, without the confines of gravity to hold back design, the ISS sprawls in all sorts of directions. You will find interesting information and views from above and below, just as much as you would to the sides.
The timing of the images taken aboard the ISS is of particular interest too, as it happened to be when one of Space X’s Dragon capsules was docked with it, according to TechCrunch. That means you can get a unique view of the cargo capsule from the space station and appreciate what it must be like to see the cargo arriving.
Alongside this new Street View experience, you can also see how Google and the astronauts crafted it in the header video above.
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