NASA launches interactive online space station tour

The International Space Station is now accessible in cyberspace.

On Thursday, NASA launched its Interactive Space Station Reference Guide, a new tool that features an in-depth look inside and outside of the orbiting laboratory that has never before been seen.

It is available online at: http://www.nasa.gov/station

The guide provides an up-to-date interactive overview of the station's complex configuration, design and component systems. It includes a video introduction and narration by NASA astronaut Mike Fincke, who lived aboard the station for six months as an Expedition 9 science officer and flight engineer.

Other features on NASA's new interactive guide include:

- How space station crews live in space: how they eat, sleep and exercise while in orbit.

- How the station complex is built and operates, including a reference guide for learning about each of the station's components.

- A 360-degree tour of the station with a view of each of the station's pressurized modules.

- A library of printable fact sheets providing up-to-date information about the station.

The station's assembly and maintenance in orbit, long-duration spaceflight experience gained aboard the complex, and research into the effects of long spaceflights contribute to NASA's plans for future missions to return to the moon and travel beyond.