Not content with giving us eye-level views of millions of miles of roads, Google Maps has now entering the stratosphere. In a blog post published yesterday, Google announced that you can now explore the International Space Station (ISS) with Street View.
Of course, Google did not send its 360-degree camera car up there to capture the imagery, but instead tapped the services of European Space Agency (ESA) Astronaut Thomas Pesquet, who photographed the station during a six-month stint.
The Street View team worked with NASA and the Marshall Space Flight Center to come up with a method for taking photos using DSLR camera and equipment already on the ISS, while in zero-gravity. Pesquet then beamed the stills he captured down to Earth so that Google could stitch them together to make the 360-degree panoramic images now seen in Google Maps.
The ISS Street View offers a close-up look at the 15 connected modules that make up the inside of the station, letting you poke around the place at your leisure. It also provides clickable nodes throughout that you can tap to access more information about what you’re looking at, like BEAM, the Bigelow Expandable Aerospace Module, and COLBERT, the combined operational load bearing external resistance treadmill (Astronauts are required to do two hours of specific aerobic and weight bearing exercises every day).
It’s as interesting to read about as it is to look at: check out the ISS for yourself here.
Do you think this was a worthwhile project for Google? Or should it be focusing its attention elsewhere? Give us your thoughts in the comments.