A 3D Tour Of The International Space Station

If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to live inside the International Space Station (ISS), the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is now offering you a 3D virtual tour. This week, NASA released a new playlist of videos taken over the summer by NASA astronauts Reid Wiseman and Steve Swanson, and European Space Agency’s Alexander Gerst.

By accessing NASA’s YouTube channel, it’s now possible to experience zero gravity from the comfort of your own home.

“NASA’s imaging experts have advanced the science of imaging technology so that even more breathtaking pictures let viewers virtually experience the phenomenon of spaceflight,” the space agency said in a statement.

Footage shot by Don Pettit in 2012, for example, gives us a glimpse into the ISS gym, as well as a view of a Russian Soyuz capsule through a window. You can also expect to find footage of the astronauts exploring water surface tension in near-zero gravity. A miniature high definition (HD) GoPro camera, is sealed in a waterproof case and immersed in a glob of water. This allows the astronauts to videotape “the water ball” from both the inside and the out.

If you happen to have 3-D glasses, it’s definitely suggested that you use them. In July 2011, NASA sent its first 3D HDTV (high definition television) camera on the orbiter, Atlantis, with the crew of STS-135. Now, the United States Space Agency is hoping to go further with the project. In fact, these videos are the first in a series of tours to come, since 3D cameras tend to fare better.

The levels of radiation in space can easily damage ordinary cameras by burning out their pixels. However, the 3D version, which costs about $21,000, has remained largely intact through out the years. In the future, NASA will also implement more advanced technology by utilizing a camera that is capable of shooting six times the resolution of a standard HD camera.

“Delivering images from these new and exciting locations is how we share our accomplishments with the world,” said Rodney Grubbs, the principal investigator for the 3D camera study on orbit.