The most enthusiastic of you aspiring astronauts will know that you can take a virtual tour of the International Space Station (ISS) right now on your computer. That's pretty incredible, but as Destin points out in the latest episode of Smarter Every Day, without the help of gravity, it can be super-hard to get your bearings as you try to figure out which way is up and which way is down as you spin through the narrow, twisting corridors, nodules, and bunkers that make up this football field-sized platform.
So he decided to take a tour of the life-sized ISS mock-up in Houstin, Texas to get a handle on things with his feet firmly on the ground, and despite how cramped that thing is inside, it's a pretty amazing thing to experience - even just by proxy.
Taking a tour with none other than Internet darling, astronaut Scott Kelly, Destin gets the lay of the land, so he can figure out exactly where the crew will be when they're eating, sleeping, pooping, doing experiments, or getting health checks. And in the video above, he's included a video game-style radar at the bottom of the screen, so we know exactly where we are at any given moment through the tour, and links to the specific place in the online virtual tour so you can see what everything looks like up in space.
We start off right where Scott Kelly's spacecraft docks to the ISS, and then walk all the way to the Japanese module on the opposite end. The first thing you'll notice is how cramped the whole thing is. Ten minutes in and I'd be begging for someone to throw me out the side for a much-needed spacewalk.
But the reward is a glimpse into the everyday lives of the astronauts that can spend a year at a time floating some 400 km above Earth, as they try to understand the Universe around us better, and how we might one day colonise other places within it. Big thanks to Destin for taking us along for the ride!