Wide-Angle Tour of the International Space Station
We've seen a lot of video taken from the International Space Station (including some sent directly to us by ISS astronaut Chris Hadfield), but it looks like there's still plenty of unreleased footage that astronauts keep close to their chest. Don Pettit, popular astronaut photographer and Flight Engineer on Expedition 31, shared this tour of the ISS with Science Friday after the release of the movie Gravity. I'm pretty sure this is the first time this footage has been shared with the public. Unlike Sunita Williams' video tour of the ISS, Pettit films himself spinning and "flying" through the station using a Nikon DSLR with an 8mm Nikkor f/2.8 wide-angle lens. This rare fisheye lens isn't used as much as the massive telephotos lenses that Pettit, Hadfield, and other astronaut photographers use to take photos of Earth, but it does make for stunning video. Another fitting note: it's the same class of lens as the 8mm f/8 Nikkor that was used to make the Hal 9000 prop in 2001: A Space Odyssey.