Back in August, we reported that NASA had ordered 53 unmodified Nikon D5 cameras. Some of them were meant to be used in the astronaut training facilities, while the others were intended to go to the International Space Station. And now it’s official: the first set of Nikon D5 cameras is sent to their first space mission.
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Looking like something pulled right out of Wall-E, there’s a spherical object floating around the International Space Station. This object is Int-Ball, a camera drone that explores the ISS autonomously or via remote control from earth. Developed by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) the first videos of it in action have now been released.
Int-Ball’s objective is to help alleviate some of the work done by the crew. JAXA estimates that the onboard crew spend about 10% of their working hours with a camera in hand. Being able to have Int-Ball explore the ISS instead of the crew frees up valuable time for other duties.
Normally when we hear about photography on the space station, it’s photographs made there. It’s scenes looking back at earth through the windows of Cupola, the ISS observatory. Incredible views of the earth, stars, auroras, or crazy timelapse. This time, though, it’s not photos coming to the earth from the ISS. They’re going to the ISS from earth.
Playing host to its first photography exhibition, the ISS now houses five images from Indian photographer Dr. Hersh Chadha. Printed on vibrachrome by Duggal Visual Solutions, these five photographs are intended to reconnect the astronauts with the Earth.