Google unveiled its newest street view, and it takes you somewhere you've never been — unless you happen to be an astronaut. The latest Google Maps Street View location is on the International Space Station (ISS). So, now you can explore space from your couch.
The new Street View allows you to scroll through 17 different views of the ISS, including the observation deck, the laboratories, research modules, and the living quarters of the astronauts. The 360-degree images are interactive and annotated, so you can learn about what you're looking at.
Like this image of the crew quarter:
And this image of the galley table:
Thomas Pesquet is an Astronaut at the European Space Agency. He spent six months aboard the ISS as a flight engineer, and as if his job wasn't already cool/busy enough, he was also tasked with capturing Street View imagery. He wrote a blog for Google documenting his journey, where he included some of the stunning images.
"For 16 years, astronauts have been working and living on the ISS, a structure made up of 15 connected modules that floats 250 miles above Earth," Pesquet wrote in his Google post. "The ISS acts as a base for space exploration — possible future missions to the Moon, Mars and asteroids — and gives us a unique perspective on Earth itself."
And now, thanks to Google, we have access to that unique perspective of Earth.
Taking the pictures wasn't as easy as just aiming and clicking a button, because, you know, space and the whole lack of gravity thing.
"Because of the particular constraints of living and working in space, it wasn't possible to collect Street View using Google's usual methods," Pesquet wrote. "Instead, the Street View team worked with NASA at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas and Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama to design a gravity-free method of collecting the imagery using DSLR cameras and equipment already on the ISS."
Check out the Street View of the ISS here, and prepare to be thoroughly impressed.