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Watch this 360 video tour of the space station’s ‘beating heart’

International Space Station (ISS) astronaut Thomas Pesquet has dropped his latest video offering a closer look at the key modules that make up the orbiting outpost.

This time Pesquet shows us around the U.S. Lab, also known as Destiny, which launched to the ISS aboard Space Shuttle Atlantis in 2001.

The French astronaut shot the video tour (below) using a 360-degree camera. This means you can follow him around the module by moving your smartphone or, if you’re watching on a PC, dragging the picture using a mouse.

Destiny | Space Station 360 (in French with English subtitles available)

Highlighting the module’s importance, Pesquet describes the U.S. Lab as “the beating heart” of the ISS.

About 28 feet (8.5 meters) long and 14 feet (4.3 meters) wide, the module is packed with vital equipment such as a rack that recycles oxygen and a system for removing carbon dioxide. It’s also home to a slew of facilities for conducting scientific experiments, including a special glovebox that allows astronauts to perform experiments using potentially hazardous materials without risk of contaminating the station’s air.

A diagram of the International Space Station.
A diagram of the International Space Station, with the U.S. Lab/Destiny module marked by the red circle.

During his tour, Pesquet also points out CEVIS (Cycle Ergometer with Vibration Isolation and Stabilization System), a specially designed “bicycle” that astronauts can use for aerobic exercise.

Check out the module’s window, too, which Pesquet says offers an excellent vantage point (besides the Cupola) for snapping images of Earth about 250 miles below. We’re sure you’ll agree, Pesquet’s photographic efforts are often highly impressive, though as he explained just recently, capturing the pictures requires a great deal of preparation.

The U.S Lab is also used for daily conferences with ground control “to talk about the day, ask questions, get answers … so we spend a lot of time in the [U.S. Lab],” the astronaut explains.

Pesquet conducts the tour in his native tongue but English subtitles can be viewed by hitting the “CC” button on the video player.

Previous tours given by Pesquet in recent months include a look at Columbus, Harmony (also known as Node 2), Tranquility (Node 3), and the station’s newest module, Nauka.

For a unique tour of the entire space station, check out this amazing cinematic fly-through shot in pin-sharp 4K.

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Trevor Mogg
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