249 miles above the surface of Earth, six crewmembers call the cramped corridors of the International Space Station home. They work, sleep, exercise and stare out the windows in stays that average about six months in length.
NASA recently released a breathtaking flythrough of the International Space Station. From the best views ever inside the Cupola module to where the crew stores human waste. Hey, there are not beautiful views in every module.
We begin in the Cupola module. Seven windows offer spectacular views of the Earth below. The crew also use them for observation of the ISS and around the station’s immediate vicinity. Large shutters protect the windows from space debris and micrometeorites. Check out NASA astronaut Ron Garan (Expedition 28) peering out of one of the windows with the shutters open. We can see the shutters lying just below each window.
Here’s a look from within the module with the shutters closed.
And the ISS crew capturing the gorgeous images of Earth we see on social media today.
At the six-minute mark, we enter the Destiny module.
On the left (image above) we can where astronauts control the station’s robotic arm from. This was used recently to grab and secure the Cygnus resupply spacecraft. On the right, we can see parts of the crew’s camera collection that’ll make any beginner jealous.
We get a better look at their accessories during the return trip through the Destiny module at around 13:30. Look to the left (below) on the wall just past the laptop.
How do you get some quiet time aboard the ISS to sleep? Those tiny white compartments on either side are the sleeping quarters for the crew.
NASA astronaut Mike Fossum showed us just how ‘roomy’ these compartments are in a video a few years ago.
For experiments that involve hazardous material, ISS crew use a microgravity glovebox seen on the left in the image below. It’s the thing with the orange and green circles on it.
NASA’s flythrough is an incredible look at the place six astronauts call home for up to six months at a time. Scott Kelly spent an astonishing year there with cosmonaut Mikhail Korniyenko. You think both of them were ready to stretch their legs back on Earth after 12 long months.
It might look cramped, but the views alone would be worth it.