Watch the First-Ever 360-Degree Video of a Spacewalk!

Russian cosmonauts on the International Space Station have released the first-ever 360-degree video of a spacewalk. 

In the video, produced by the Russian TV network RT (Russia Today) and collaborators, viewers can accompany cosmonauts Sergey Ryazansky and Fyodor Yurchikhin on their record-breaking Aug. 17 spacewalk as they hand-launch several nanosatellites. The full spacewalk took 7 hours and 29 minutes, making it the longest-ever Russian spacewalk, but the 360-degree video presents 3 minutes and 26 seconds of the walk's highlights.

At the video's 1 minute 12 second mark, the cosmonauts deploy satellite Tanyusha-SWSU 2, which broadcasts greetings in Russian, English, Spanish and Chinese, according to the National Association for Amateur Radio. The nanosatellite and its companion, Tanyusha-SWSU 1, were created by students in the Russian city of Kursk. At the 2 minute 40 second mark, they send the spherical TS530-Zerkalo on its way to measure the density of Earth's atmosphere. This satellite will help scientists predict the motion of objects in low Earth orbit, including the space station. In total, the cosmonauts deployed five satellites that day.

RT announced the footage as the world's first-ever 360-degree video from open space. In November 2016, RT sent viewers to space with a 360-degree video inside the space station.

"Thanks to the project, any person on Earth can feel what it's like to be in space from the comfort of their own home," Eduard Chizhikov, head of RT's Space 360 project, said in the statement from RT. 

The video was produced by RT in collaboration with Russia's space agency, Roscosmos, as well as Energia Rocket and Space Corp., as a part of RT's Space 360 project, which aims to bring the cosmic experience to the next level with the first-ever 360 content from space, according to the project's homepage. This video adds to nine previous 360 videos RT has produced as part of the project. 

RT premiered the video Tuesday (Oct. 3) during a special event at a virtual-reality theater at Moscow's Museum of Cosmonautics. The release commemorates the 60th anniversary of Sputnik 1's 1957 launch.

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Harrison Tasoff
Former Contributing Writer

Harrison Tasoff is a science journalist originally from Los Angeles. He graduated from NYU’s Science, Health, and Environmental Reporting Program after earning his B.A. in mathematics at Swarthmore College. Harrison covers an array of subjects, but often finds himself drawn to physics, ecology, and earth science stories. In his spare time, he enjoys tidepooling, mineral collecting, and tending native plants.