Recently in the Cameras Category


Smart as the Mars Curiosity mission has been about landing and finding its own way on a distant world, the rover is pretty brainless when it comes to doing the science that it was sent 567 million kilometers to carry out. That has to change if future rover missions are to make discoveries further out in the solar system, scientists say.

"NASA's space missions cost millions and millions of dollars, but a British teenager has managed to get some stunning shots of planet Earth using just a camera he bought on eBay and a do-it-yourself spacecraft. Nineteen-year-old Adam Cudworth spent just 40 hours and about $600 to grab the images you see above, according to a Telegraph report. He placed the camera, a simple Canon A570, in an insulated box with a GPS device, radio transmitter and microprocessor. Then he used a balloon to send the makeshift spacecraft more than 20 miles into the sky -- high enough, his photos show, to capture dramatic views of the Earth's curvature." More at Mashable

"An experimental camera smaller than an espresso cup on ESA's Proba-2 microsatellite caught this view of soon-to-be Hurricane Isaac as it moved west of the Florida coast into the Gulf of Mexico on Monday. The small satellite's X-Cam - Exploration Camera - acquired this image at 11:38:33 GMT on 27 August. At the time, Isaac was a tropical storm with maximum sustained winds of around 100 km/hr, with storm-force winds extending around 360 km from its centre. Isaac is expected to become a fully fledged hurricane during Tuesday, fed by the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico. Less than a cubic metre in size, Proba-2's main mission focuses on observing the Sun and space weather." More.

NASA's Grail MoonKAM Returns First Student-Selected Lunar Images

"One of two NASA spacecraft orbiting the moon has beamed back the first student-requested pictures of the lunar surface from its onboard camera. Fourth grade students from the Emily Dickinson Elementary School in Bozeman, Mont., received the honor of making the first image selections by winning a nationwide competition to rename the two spacecraft. The image was taken by the MoonKAM, or Moon Knowledge Acquired by Middle school students. Previously named Gravity Recovery And Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) A and B, the twin spacecraft are now called Ebb and Flow. Both washing-machine-sized orbiters carry a small MoonKAM camera. Over 60 student-requested images were taken aboard the Ebb spacecraft from March 15-17 and downlinked to Earth on March 20."

Erich Leeth: This is what space looks like from a weather balloon. We're working on determining exactly what altitude we got to, but I'd put it somewhere near 100,000 feet. Photos on Flickr

You can see about half of the city of Lubbock along the bottom of the photo just right of center.
We launched our little spacecraft (Cygnus) at 9:02am from ‎33° 49' 28"N 102° 53' 56"W, and it touched back down to Earth at 11:56am at 33° 19' 21"N 101° 59' 42"W. 62 miles from where it was released. This image was taken 1 hour and 55 minutes into the flight.

Clyde Space is working with the UK Astronomy Technology Centre in Edinburgh on a feasibility study into high resolution Earth observation from a 3U CubeSat. The system in this video has a performance estimated at less than 1m resolution from a 400km orbit. Source: ClydeSpace

Register for NASA's GRAIL MoonKAM

In fall 2011, NASA's Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory, or GRAIL, mission is scheduled to launch twin spacecraft in tandem low-altitude orbits around the moon. The spacecraft will measure the moon's gravity in unprecedented detail. The mission will answer key questions about the moon's internal structure and give scientists a better understanding of how our solar system formed.

The satellites will carry special cameras, dubbed MoonKam, which stands for Moon Knowledge Acquired by Middle school students. During the science phase of the mission, students will send in requests for the cameras to take photos of specific areas on the lunar surface. The images will be posted on the Internet, and students can refer to them as they study highlands, maria and other features of the moon's topography.

Register at the GRAIL MoonKam website to receive information and resources about this unique opportunity and stay up-to-date with GRAIL MoonKAM news and events.

"Work has stopped on an alternative version of the instrument, with a pair of zoom-lens cameras, which would have provided additional capabilities for improved three-dimensional video. The installed Mastcam on the Mars Science Laboratory mission's Curiosity rover uses two fixed-focal-length cameras: a telephoto for one eye and wider angle for the other. Malin Space Science Systems, San Diego, built the Mastcam and was funded by NASA last year to see whether a zoom version could be developed in time for testing on Curiosity." More.

"Rise to the edge of space, freefall for 50,000 feet, fly through clouds, and land gently in bushes"

Educational Balloon Provides Space Shuttle Launch Images and Video From Over 110,000 feet

"A balloon with a student-oriented payload shot high resolution photos and video from an altitude of over 110,000 feet of Space Shuttle Discovery as it climbed into space.These images and video were released today as part of a mission report provided by Quest for Stars representative Bobby Russell at the Next-Generation Suborbital Researchers Conference (NSRC) at the University of Central Florida."

Video From The Edge of Space

If you can, watch this video in HD (select the 720p option). As the payload slowly rotates you will see Discovery's vapor trail at the Earth's limb - twice. The payload (with camera) first swings to the west and then reverses and swings back to the east, past Discovery's vapor trial, around to the west again, and then continues to rotate to the east toward the vapor trail again.

Last week a balloon with a student-oriented payload shot high resolution photos and video from an altitude of over 110,000 feet of Space Shuttle Discovery as it climbed into space.These images and video were released today as part of a mission report provided by Quest for Stars representative Bobby Russell at the Next-Generation Suborbital Researchers Conference (NSRC) at the University of Central Florida. More information on this conference can be found at http://nsrc.swri.org

Co-sponsored by the Challenger Center for Space Science Education, this mission is one in a series of flights conducted by Quest for Stars, a California-based non-profit educational organization that uses off-the-shelf hardware and a little ingenuity to allow students to place experiments at the edge of space at exceptionally low cost. More information

This photo was taken from an an altitude of over 70,000 feet (still being determined exactly) at 5:20 pm EST on 24 February 2011. The camera used was the lowest resolution camera on board the Robonaut-1 balloon - a Motorola Droid X smartphone. You can see the plume left by Space Shuttle Discovery as it headed into space. We will be releasing more images of greater resolution and HD video very soon. Co-sponsored by the Challenger Center for Space Science Education, this mission is one in a series of flights conducted by Quest for Stars, a California-based non-profit educational organization that uses off-the-shelf hardware and a little ingenuity to allow students to place experiments at the edge of space at exceptionally low cost.More information

Robonaut-1 Balloon Mission Live Video and Mission Updates

"If all goes according to plan a balloon with a student-oriented payload will photograph Space Shuttle Discovery as it climbs into space from an altitude of 100,000 feet. There will also be live streaming video from the balloon itself during the mission - sent back by two regular smartphones running Google's Android operating system. Co-sponsored by the Challenger Center for Space Science Education, this mission is one in a series of flights conducted by Quest for Stars, a California-based non-profit educational organization that uses off-the-shelf hardware and a little ingenuity to allow students to place experiments at the edge of space at exceptionally low cost. Quest for Stars and the Challenger Center for Space Science Education have now joined together to promote the use of these low cost delivery systems. This mission will be the first of what is hoped to be many future collaborations." More information

"Seven styrofoam beer coolers sit lined up behind the open hatchback of an SUV, parked next to a soccer field in California's rural Central valley. Each box contains a black Google Nexus S phone, mounted with their cameras facing out through a clear plastic cut-out in the side. Some of the boxes/phones have consumer-grade wide-angle sport video cameras mounted on the outside, odd bits of custom-soldered circuitry poke out of others." More at New Scientist

Less than three years after obtaining college degrees, a group of early-career employees at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., can now add "rocket launch" to their resumes. Recent graduates who work for JPL launched a sounding rocket 120 kilometers (75 miles) above Earth's surface on Monday, Dec. 6. The rocket flew from the U.S. Army's White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico, with four cameras on board. The cameras recorded real-time ground imagery throughout the flight, both after launch as the rocket climbed beyond the atmosphere, and during its descent back to White Sands. Those data will be compared with existing maps to develop terrain-modeling algorithms. This project will improve precision landing for future missions to Mars and other locations.

You've seen these things in SciFI films for years - "Aliens", "Avatar", "Star Trek" and so on. Headsets that let you communicate and record everything around you - hands free. Now you can buy one that works with your iPhone/iPad or Android device. Imagine equipping NASA Away Teams in the field or astronauts in space with these devices and allowing all of us back home to literally peer over their shoulders as they work and live in space and exotic research locations on our own planet.

Avatar Meets NASA on Mars

James Cameron and NASA team up to shoot Mars in 3D, DVICE

"James Cameron got plenty of experience creating an alien world in Avatar. Now the 3D pioneer is looking to test his might with the real deal, Mars, though still in three dimensions. Cameron met with NASA administrator Charles Bolden to pitch the idea of including a 3D camera on the space agency's next generation rover, Curiosity, set to launch toward the red planet next year. "He actually was really open to the idea," Cameron told the Pasadena Star News. "Our first meeting went very well." Beyond the scientific value the detailed images could possess, Cameron may also use the footage in a documentary on Mars in the future."

Avatar Director Helps NASA With Mars Cameras, Information Week

"NASA is getting help from Hollywood director James Cameron to build 3D cameras for the next Mars rover, Curiosity. The space agency abandoned plans to build cameras with the capability for the rover in 2007 due to budgetary concerns. That prompted the director " known for blockbuster films Avatar and Titanic-- to step in and personally petitioned the agency to build the cameras, according to NASA. The agency this month said it has delivered the last two of four science cameras -- called Mastcams -- for the rover without 3D capability."