Yesterday Google announced on its blog that they have added views of the International Space Station (ISS) to Google Street View. The Google blog post is written by Thomas Pesquet, Astronaut at the European Space Agency (ESA), who spent six months aboard the International Space Station (ISS) as a flight engineer. The ISS Street View is not currently available in Google Earth, so explore it here.
The ISS is in orbit around the earth and so does not have a specific location so Google has decided to place the Street View in Building 9 – Space Vehicle Mockup Facility at the Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas. The building houses mockups of every major pressurized module on the International Space Station. It is also not far from the Christopher C. Kraft Jr. Mission Control Center. The mission control center is the building from which which flight controllers command, monitor, and plan operations for the ISS.
Interestingly, one of the mockup modules has a user contributed photosphere and we couldn’t identify the equivalent module in the new Street View. If any of our readers can tell us which it is, let us know in the comments.
The Google Blog post incorrectly states that this is the first time Street View imagery has been captured beyond planet Earth. In fact, both the Moon and Mars have had Street View for quite some time.
Another interesting comment is that this is the first time that Street View has included annotations. This is such a new feature that it is not yet working on Google’s dedicated Street View site but only in Google Maps. Let’s hope the feature comes to Google Earth too – including the ability to annotate using KML.
Annotations in Street View is a new feature.