Corny title aside, we all know the Nikon Z9 (which you can get here) is one of the best cameras in the world at the moment. It is no surprise, then, that NASA is testing whether or not they can take it to the moon.
The Nikon Z9 is currently in the testing phase for the next US moon mission, named “Artemis III“. The teams at NASA tested the Z9 for three major space challenges: thermal, vacuum, and radiation effects. To help it fare better in such harsh conditions, NASA has made several modifications to their Z9 units. They added a blanket for dust and thermal protection and a new set of ergonomic buttons. An addition I’m sure the glove-wearing astronauts will appreciate.
Adapping the Nikon z9 for space
To keep it comfortable and ergonomic, they chose the Nikon Z 40mm f/2, for its quality and compact size. That makes sense; many photographers hesitate to bring a large lens with them on a long trip. And you can’t really have a longer trip than the one to the moon.
It wouldn’t be the first time NASA chose Nikon for a mission. They used a modified Nikon F camera for the Apollo 15 space missions, the Nikon photonic FTN. There were also missions where they used the predecessors of the Z9. Cameras like the Nikon D3S or the Nikon D5 that went on a trip to the international space station.
The modified versions of the Nikon Z9 can’t be bought right now, but with luck, maybe they will appear in an eBay listing years from now. For now, As I suppose you don’t actually need radiation resistance in your camera, you can get the unmodified Nikon Z9 today for $5,496.95.