The first piece of the International Space Station launched over 16 years ago. Since that time, only a few hundred people have occupied the orbital outpost. But don’t fret space fans, thanks to a recently released NASA video, you can float through the space station just like one of the crew.
Shot through a fish-eye lens, the ultra high-definition video gives us a unique view inside the research station’s various nooks and crannies. The tour begins in the cupola, which is the ultimate room with a view. Through a set of seven windows, astronauts can (and often do) spend their free time watching the Earth as it passes below.
Our tour continues through the stations various modules and labs, with a diagram popping up every so often to show the viewer where the camera is at that moment. An information box occasionally appears in the upper left corner to provide a few details about that location.
The video tour takes just over 18 minutes to complete, with soothing slow jams serenading us along the way. One thing you might notice is that compared to the sleek, minimalist space ships of the future, the ISS looks a bit disheveled with equipment and supplies in every crevice.
Despite the lack of people shown in the video, the space station has been continuously occupied since 2000. The tour may not show us the crew but we do get a glimpse into their what their lives on station is like. We see their equipment (including specialized spacesuits), a plethora of mission patches adorning the walls, and by the end of the video we realize that Velcro is an astronaut’s best friend. Due to the lack of gravity on station, any object that isn’t secured or strapped down, could be a floating hazard.
Currently, there are only three people living and working on the space station, as NASA astronaut Kate Rubins, Japanese astronaut Takuya Onishi and Russian cosmonaut Anatoly Ivanishin returned to Earth early Sunday morning after spending 115 days in space.
That will soon change as the next trio of astronauts — NASA’s Peggy Whitson, Frances Thomas Pesquet and Russia’s Oleg Novitskiy — will join NASA’s Shane Kimbrough and Russia’s Sergey Ryzhikov and Andrey Borisenko, on November 17.