Google Maps adds the International Space Station

Published: 12:10 GMT, Jul 21, 2017 |

The International Space Station has become the first “off planet” addition to Google Maps’ Street View facility.

Astronauts helped capture 360-degree panoramas of the insides of the ISS modules, as well as views down to the Earth below.

Some of the photography features pop-up text descriptions, marking the first time such annotations have appeared on the Maps platform.

This is not the first time 360-degree imagery has been captured beyond Earth.

In 2015, the European Space Agency published its own interactive tour of the ISS. And last year Nasa repurposed images captured by its Pathfinder mission to Mars to create clips suitable for virtual reality headsets.

However, one of the benefits of Google’s technology is that it should give members of the public an improved sense of freedom of movement and a greater choice of viewpoints than had been possible before.