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Take a tour of the space station from the comfort of your own sofa

Astronauts from both the American and European space agencies have teamed up to offer us earthlings a unique tour of the International Space Station (ISS).

Shot in one take, ESA astronaut Luca Parmitano and NASA astronaut Drew Morgan spend just over an hour showing us around pretty much the entirety of the orbiting outpost.

The tour (below), which was shot around the New Year, begins just inside the Soyuz MS-15 spacecraft before moving into the main part of the space station.

Grand tour of the International Space Station with Drew and Luca | Single take

At the time of recording, three supply vehicles were docked — the Russian Progress MS-13, Space-X’s Dragon-19, and Northrup Grumman’s Cygnus-12 — as well as two astronaut vehicles, namely the Soyuz MS-15 and Soyuz MS-13.

Along the way, Parmitano and Morgan bump into other crew members, among them Jessica Meir and Christina Koch, and Russian cosmonauts Alexander Skvortsov and Oleg Skripochka. The journey through the space station takes us to the Cupola (an observatory module on the ISS), SpaceX’s Dragon capsule, the treadmill, and — no comprehensive tour of the ISS would be complete without it — the bathroom.

A moving red dot on a graphic of the ISS that is overlaid at the bottom left of the screen lets you see the camera’s location inside the space station as the tour proceeds, but take note, it erroneously shows the future Nauka module instead of Pirs. The Russian Multipurpose Laboratory Module Nauka is planned for launch in the future and will replace Pirs, but it’s already showing on the map.

If you don’t have time to sit through the entire video, you’ll find a handy breakdown of the different places visited during the tour on the video’s YouTube page, with a link beside each one that takes you straight to that particular spot.

Described as “the first tour of the International Space Station with two astronauts presenting and the first done in a single take,” the 65-minute video offers a fascinating insight into what it’s like to spend time aboard the space station, which orbits Earth at an average altitude of 250 miles (402 km).

For a more cinematic look at the ISS, take a look at this gorgeously shot 18-minute piece, complete with a soothing soundtrack, that also takes us through the entire satellite.

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Trevor Mogg
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