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Take a 360 Degree Tour of the International Space Station

ESA made an interactive panoramic tour out of photos taken by astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti.

by Victoria Turk
Jul 24 2015, 4:00pm

Samantha Cristoforetti at work in the ISS. Image: ESA/NASA

You can now explore every detail of the International Space Station from the comfort of your Earthly home, thanks to the European Space Agency's new interactive panoramic tour.

Hit full screen and get clicking. Why not check out the airlock in Kibo, the Japanese module? Or count the expedition patches left in Node 1 after each mission? Or try to spot to Paxi, some kind of alien plushy that resides in the Columbus module for reasons that aren't quite clear?

Every inch of the ISS is for you and your mouse to explore—except for the Russian modules, which ESA says will be added later this year.

The panoramic tour comes courtesy of Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti, who took at least 15 photographs of each ISS module before her return to Earth in June after spending a women's record-breaking 199 days in space.

Cristoforetti's images were stitched together to render the whole station, and her video dispatches are scattered throughout to explain and demonstrate some of the more interesting details. These include insights like the fact that, yes, even astronauts check their emails in the bedroom—Cristoforetti wraps herself in a sleeping bag and floats to sleep inches away from her laptop screen.

Perhaps the life of an astronaut isn't so much more glamorous than the life of a blogger after all.

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