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Now Navigate Through International Space Station On Google Maps, Know More About Space Life

| Published on July 22, 2017

Have you ever looked upon sky during your childhood days and wondered what’s up there? Have you ever wanted to be an astronaut and relish the life out in space in a spaceship? Well, you no more have to be at NASA but can experience that on a Google Map. Surprised? Read on to know more!

The International Space Station has become the first “off planet” addition to Google Maps’ Street View facility. Amazing isn’t it? One can now experience a 360-degree panorama module of the International Space Station and also a view down to earth from up in space.

Earlier in 2015, European Space Agency published its own interactive tour of the ISS. NASA last year had made images of Mars tour and clips for people to experience it through their virtual headsets. But this new feature is somewhat different from what these all were. Here the user is given complete freedom for navigation and views are better than ever before. Google also uses this feature to help you move from one module to another.

While astronauts took the image, one of Space X’s Dragon vehicles was parked at the ISS which means viewers can see how cargos are parked at stations too!

The main reason was to make people aware of the science and engineers around the world more interested in space science and analytics.

Project manager, Alice Liu, said

“Every [ISS] component had to be flown on a space shuttle or rocket and constructed and connected in space, and it had to be done with such precision that it formed a hermetic environment to support life. That is an engineering marvel that people should care about and know about.”

As reported by Google, Thomas Pesquet, an astronaut at the European Space Agency (ESA), spent six months at the ISS and captured the Street View imagery in zero gravity. The astronauts actually took only DSLR images. Almost 24 such images were used to create a panorama. The Street View imagery is supported with little dots. When users click on these, a small note pops up with additional information or fun facts. Interesting!

The navigation includes 15 modules and also an explanation of each part viewed on the map. This technology of annotation can be useful in increasing such technology in future.

Ben Wood from the CCS tech consultancy said,

“This feels like a cute marketing exercise that will keep Maps and Street View front and centre in consumers’ minds.It adds a dimension of fun and one could argue also education, as it’s a tool you could see schools adopting if they are doing projects on space.”

For your information, The Street View team worked with NASA at the Johnson Space Centre in Houston, US and Marshall Space Flight Centre in Alabama to design this gravity-free method of collecting the imagery using DSLR cameras at ISS.

Hopefully, in future street views on ocean undergrounds, storms commencing etc too will be made available by Google as ISS also has data stored on them!

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