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Explore ISS on Google Maps (google.com)
235 points by yvonnick 3 months ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 57 comments

Yes thinkpads and Ethernet cable and routers and web servers (IIS and Apache Tomcat) are part of the Operational local network (OpsLan) onboard the ISS - they are used primarily for astronaut (crew) mission planning, procedures and electronic communition - systems that are deemed not to be flight critical and are not directly used in command and control of the spacecraft (think email, documents and other messaging and notification systems)

Source: I was a ISS Flight Controller for 6 years and helped write the software for local intranet websites hosted onboard the ISS for the crew

I had an engineer from Boeing reach out to me once for help with the store and forwarding of Ethernet frames from the science experiment outputs. At the time he had a laptop running Qnx that would capture the frames, then when the ISS was over Houston it would replay them for the down link. I wonder if they have a better system in place now.

I think the ISS networks over a geosynchronous satellite now (ISS -> satelite -> Houston)

The TDRSS system predates the ISS. It’s more expensive than a direct downlink.

One of my favorite bug reports was a hardware issue on a thinkpad on the ISS. The report had a line like "There are no repro systems on earth".

I was expecting the earth to be moving out of the windows, displaying what the ISS is passing over, albeit not real time.

I think that's possible - you can get current location of ISS and use that to grab images from Google, distort in the right way and display. Maybe a nice evenings project with my space-crazy 7 year old daughter..

Also, I thought the "Cupola" label you see when the page opens was highlighting a place called that on the ground below :)

A public HD livestream would be world changing. Right now access to real time, high resolution satellite imagery is still restricted to large organizations. Only some rocket launches have some views from above.

Oh my goodness! Is that really live - that's amazing and beautiful..

Wow, never realised it existed. It moves fast!

You can also ping this every second/few seconds.


Thanks for the links, this picture [1] stunned me a little. Have to say I am a little jealous of all the people who have managed to get that level of direct experience.

1: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oleg_Kononenko#/media/File:ISS...


I've it running continuously on an Ipad Pro 12.9 in my living room.

Yep agreed about the livestream.

I meant just an accurate projection onto the windows of existing Google Maps data based on the location of the ISS.

Even if that weren't possible, there are some nice high resolution textures of the earth (Blue Marble??) that could perhaps be made to work.

It is rather easy to get access to real-time satellite imagery. I use it daily.


ESA ISS Virtual Tour is also great. http://esamultimedia.esa.int/multimedia/virtual-tour-iss/

Also this VR recreation is pretty nice:


I loved that one.

BBC Home was also great— though it’s less of a tour of the station and more a dramatic spacewalk experience.

It made me dizzy the first time through. I found a beer helped level me out for the Canadarm scene.

That simulation made me sick to my stomach in two minutes flat. Of course, everyone has their own tolerance for this kind of stuff, so don’t try this if you’re new to VR.

Still a cool experience nevertheless.

It is spectacular, thank you.

Really surprised by all the loose cables. That seems like a safety issue. When I was in the military, cable management was a huge thing. We would get in trouble unless every cable was secure. Having someone trip over a cable and heaven forbid break it or yank it free, could lose lives. I would imagine stakes are similarly high in space.

What you don't see on the virtual map is that the station is very much alive.

There's constantly experiments, maintenance and whatnot going on. What may look like loose cabling/equipment here and there is probably someone that was in the middle of their work and had to get out of the shot.

The more critical systems (like life support) are all behind the panels for the same reasons your realized.

It seems that this simulation wasn't filmed on the ISS in orbit, but rather at the Space Vehicle Mockup Facility. The view out the cupola is fake.

You can’t really trip in 0 gravity.

It's true that you cannot trip in the narrow sense, where it is gravity that pulls you to the ground after losing your balance. While floating through the station you can however get caught by a loose cable around the ankle, experience a sudden unexpected change of direction/rotation and bump your head into a laptop/wall/ceiling/floor!

This is so cool. So many instruments, all sides are jammed packed with things.

I noticed most signs are oriented the same direction. Does that mean there's an "up" side?

If the enemy gate is down, does that mean the Earth is the enemy? ;)

Yeah, they explained in one of the tour videos that they spend most of their time in the "upward" position.

The lights for example always come from the "ceiling". Apparently it helps with the visual frame of reference (since you lose your sense of balance) and more convenient to read the thousands of various labels at a quick glance.

The blue wires on the ThinkPads look like standard CAT Ethernet. Is this the case?

Probably, they didn't like to use wifi

It just blows my mind that the cables that power the space station are some standard CAT 5/6 cabling that I can go buy at the local hardware store.

In the words of the great Squidward Tentacles, FUUUTTTUUURRRE.

Noob here, can anyone explain who are in these pictures? http://imgur.com/a/DyA3sdr

I think Tsiokolviski, Koroliev, and Gagarin.

It is quite interesting to see how the ISS's 'location' on the map is on a NASA base on earth.

This really doesn't navigate well with Euler Angles and the view gimbal locking

Where are quarternions when you need them !

It's only just dawned on me that you don't need chairs in space.

Does this only work in Chrome or is navigating to node 3 always impossible?

I have the same problem in Chrome

Looks like they need to send Marie Kondo to outer space!

I had the same thought! Everywhere I've explored is so junky - every surface is consistently covered in stuff. I'd pay so much money to see Marie Kondo tidy in space.

It would drive her crazy - so much clutter, but she can't just open some door to throw it away

So the ThinkPad is the NASA laptop of choice?

I can’t tell if that’s a Lenovo era Thinkpad. Would NASA still use thinkpads considering all the hoo-ha when it comes to Chinese tech companies?

They are T61p https://www.techrepublic.com/article/from-windows-10-linux-i... Most computer parts are made in China regardless of the vendor not including the CPU. Doubtful that they are using Libreboot, but that would be a good justification for using them.

Seriousness aside, the drop protection, liquid spill holes, and general durability are useless in zero g.

This makes unrealistic every science fiction movie ever.

Cables and tubes everywhere, have you gone through a tunnel of bags yet?

This is a duplicate I believe from a few weeks ago

But how did they get one of the streetview cars onto the ISS? That's the story I want to know

My head hurts

is North arbitrary in the map or has some meaning ?

From the first view that shows The view of Earth, our planet doesn't look flat. It would be interesting/entertaining to hear flat Earth apologists argue this away.

Easy: this is a fake construction. How are we truly to believe this is real?

I’d recommend not arguing after a certain point.

You can find your location here[0] and look up at the right time.

Not saying you should use this as an argument against those people, I've just wanted to share something cool and easy to do.

[0] https://spotthestation.nasa.gov/sightings/

This is cool, but Google goes all the way to build this rather useless gimmick instead of solving actual support problems that come up here once a week.

The people who are working on that are probably not the same ones who would deal with some unrelated issues on other products. It’s not like they decided to not improve the gmail UI because they were working on the ISS project.

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