Google Teams Up With NASA So You Can Take A Virtual Reality Tour Of The ISS.

Have you ever dreamed of being an astronaut? Ever wished you could look back at Earth from the International Space Station? Well you are in luck, NASA teamed up with the Google Maps team to bring you the International Space Station Google Street View Virtual Reality (VR) Tour. So grab your VR headset, open the Google Maps Street View app and go exploring! Don’t worry if you do not have a VR headset, you can still use the Google Maps app on your smart phone or the desktop version. 

International Space Station seen from STS-132
ISS seen from STS-132. Credit: NASA



360 degree VR video version we created of the ISS Street View


Creating The International Space Station Google Street View Experience.

International Space Station Google Street View

To create this out of this world kind of tour, the Google Maps team had to go to Houston for some testing. Working with the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS) and the National Lab, Google had to figure out a way to create the images needed for the ground team to stitch together to create the 360 degree spherical images for Virtual Reality and Street View. So with the Google team at the Johnson Space Center in Houston they worked closely with NASA at the International Space Station mock up facility. With two days of time at the mock-up facility, the team had to use tools and available camera equipment that is on the ISS. The team mapped out which compartments would be best for the Street View tour and worked on a strategy for astronauts to be able to capture the images needed. 

After the team had a game plan they visited Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama and had an astronaut on the ISS test a few photography techniques they thought would work. You can see the results of the images in the above Google Street View Tour. While it looks like a few of the images were captured from the ISS some look like they were taken with a lower resolution camera from the ground. Either way this is an awesome tour by both NASA and Google. 

Watch the behind the scenes video on how NASA and Google created the Street View Tour of the International Space Station.

Enjoy the virtual reality experience? We have a few archived virtual reality posts for you to enjoy. 


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