Editor’s note: beginning today, you can now check out the International space Station in Street see in Google Maps. Thomas Pesquet, Astronaut at the European an are Agency (ESA), spent six months board the International space Station (ISS) as a flight engineer. He went back to planet in June 2017, and also in this short article he tells us about what it’s prefer to live ~ above the ISS and also his experience recording Street see imagery in zero gravity.  

In the six months the I invested on the International space Station, the was difficult to discover the words or take a picture that accurately describes the feeling of being in space. Working with Google on my latest mission, I caught Street view imagery to show what the ISS looks choose from the inside, and also share what it’s like to look under on earth from outer space.

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For 16 years, astronauts have actually been working and also living on the ISS, a structure made up of 15 connected modules the floats 250 miles above Earth. The ISS acts together a base for room exploration—possible future objectives to the Moon,Mars and asteroids—and gives us a distinct perspective on planet itself. We can collect data top top the earth oceans, atmosphere, and also land surface. We deserve to conduct experiments and also studies that we wouldn’t be able to do indigenous Earth, like monitoring exactly how the human body reacts to microgravity, addressing mysteries the the immune system, studying cyclones in order to alert populations and governments when a storm is approaching, or monitoring naval litter—the rapidly enhancing amount the waste uncovered in our oceans.


There to be a few “firsts” on mine mission. It was led by Peggy Whitson who, at age 56, came to be the oldest woman to fly into room and the an initial woman in background to command two expeditions. The mission to be the an initial time Street View imagery to be captured past planet Earth, and the an initial time annotations—helpful little notes the pop up together you explore the ISS—have been added to the imagery. They provide extr information or fun facts choose where we occupational out to stay physically fit, what type of food us eat, and also where we conduct scientific experiments.


Node 1 (Unity) Peggy Whitson and also friends dining in ~ the galley table - big enough for 6 astronauts.

Because of the particular constraints of living and also working in space, that wasn"t possible to collection Street View utilizing Google"s usual methods. Instead, the Street view team operated with NASA in ~ the Johnson space Center in Houston, Texas and also Marshall room Flight facility in Huntsville, Alabama to design a gravity-free technique of collecting the imagery making use of DSLR cameras and equipment already on the ISS. Then I gathered still image in space, that were sent out down to earth where they were stitched together to produce panoramic 360 level imagery that the ISS.


Node 2 (Harmony) Crew soldier - Astronaut Sandra Magnus, exploration 18 flight engineer, poses for a picture in her crew compartment.

We did a the majority of troubleshooting prior to collecting the last imagery the you see now in Street View. The ISS has technical tools on every surfaces, with numerous cables and a complex layout v modules shooting turn off in every directions—left, right, up, down. And also it’s a liven place, with 6 crew members transporting out research and also maintenance activities 12 hours a day. There room a most obstacles up there, and also we had restricted time to record the imagery, so we had to be confident that our technique would work. Oh, and also there’s that whole zero heaviness thing.


Joint Airlock (Quest) - This area contains an are suits additionally known as Extravehicular Mobility Units. They administer crew members v life support that permits extravehicular activity.

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None that this would have actually been possible without the occupational of the team top top the ground, my partner (turned roommates) on the ISS, and also the countries that came together to send us up come space. Spring at earth from above made me think around my own people a small differently, and also I hope the the ISS ~ above Street View transforms your check out of the world too.

Click here to walk behind the scenes v Thomas and also the team.

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