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Thursday, August 17, 2017

Google Street View now lets you tour the International Space Station

Astronauts helped create the panoramic images, which was a challenge for Street View.Google Street View has been around for a decade as the search giant continues its mission of organizing the world's information and making it universally accessible and useful.That is an engineering marvel that people should care about and know about.

Construction on the ISS began in 1998, with the final major piece delivered in May 2011,The purpose of the space station is to observe the planet from above, act as a base for missions to the moon, Mars, and asteroids, collect data on oceans, atmosphere, and land surface, as well as experiment with how the human body reacts in zero-gravity.improved sense of freedom of movement and a greater choice of viewpoints than had been possible before The unique view of Pluto is from a vantage even closer than the spacecraft itself.

360-degree virtual tour of the entire station

You’ll be able to take a 360-degree virtual tour of the entire station which is currently orbiting some 400km above the planet’s surface.panoramic imagery that shows how astronauts aboard the space station will let you wander about the International Space Station like you're an astronaut allows people on Earth an immersive look into what it feels like to be in space.
“We usually use tripod to ground the imagery at a single point and rotate the camera around that point,” said Yick. “Without gravity, it’s basically impossible to have a single point that you’re rotating around.”For four months, from February until May, Pesquet gradually collected photos which were then sent back to Earth and stitched together to form a 360 view."The astronauts had to take the pictures at the defined angles and float around the camera to complete the set of images."It took up to 24 such images to create a single panorama,The astronaut, Thomas Pesquet, used equipment already on board the ISS to map the entire station for Google.

The photos that Pesquet captured include ‘Cupola Observation Module’, ‘US Laboratory Module’ and an image of American astronaut Peggy Whitson dining at the galley table with friends, and the Joint Airlock area that contains space suits also known as Extravehicular Mobility Units
where they do experiments and the cupola where they can view the Earth as well as other areas throughout the station.
As people scan the interiors, they will see little dots that when clicked will open up a panel of information explaining things such as the pressurized airlock, the extravehicular mobility unit (spacesuit) or the waste and hygiene compartment (bathroom).It's the first time Google has used this kind of annotation, but more of it may be on the way as the mapping service explores new ways to show people places they may not otherwise go

Google Street View project

“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,” Ben Wood from the CCS tech consultancy said

Google’s Street View team has completed similar projects in hard-to-reach locations, including on top of mountains in the Alps and the bottom of the Great Barrier Reef. This is the team’s most ambitious project yet.

The images come from a partnership between Google and NASA, European Space Agency, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency,JAXA, Roscosmos and CASIS.launched and operated by a different country's’ space organizations, like the U.S., European, and Russian space agencies.
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
Snapping images inside the floating base, however, was not quite as simple as, say, driving down the street or hiking to the top of a mountain. Instead, the Google Street View team had to get creative.

On Earth, you put the camera on the tripod and rotate the camera Taking images in zero gravity is quite different.Now anyone with access to the navigational tool can explore the layout of one of mankind’s greatest achievements from the comfort of your own home, Street View is typically used to help people find their way to a particular destination, or explore remote parts of the world which they may not otherwise have access to. This latest update really embodies that second use, though it is not technically part of the world but is in our orbit.

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