|The STS-125 crew will install Wide Field Camera 3. The camera can detect three types of light: ultraviolet, visible and near infrared. UV is the kind of radiation that causes sunburn. Visible is the light that human eyes can see. NIR is the radiation seen with night-vision goggles. The new camera will produce images that are about 35 times better than the current camera's.|
You'll soon be able to download sweeping views of Earth from 240 miles above, thanks to two new cameras on the International Space Station.
Russian cosmonauts Oleg Kotov and Sergey Ryazanskiy on Friday embarked on a seven-hour spacewalk to install the cameras, which will be housed on the outside of the ISS. The Extra Vehicular Activity (EVA) started at 8 a.m. ET, and both astronauts are live streaming footage from their helmet cameras (Kotov is wearing helmet cam 20; Ryazanskiy, 18.) You can watch the live video below, provided by NASA.
Live streaming video by Ustream
The cameras will photograph Earth as the ISS orbits the planet and beam down those images to a private company that will make all of those files publicly available. The high-resolution 4K camera can be aimed at specific targets, while the medium-resolution camera will be a fixed view of whatever is below the space station.
The cameras are part of a commercial endeavor with Canadian company UrtheCast, which will provide the basic imagery for free to anyone with an Internet connection. The company will point the high-res camera at your requested target for a unspecified fee.
Friday's planned EVA is the third spacewalk this week for the six-person crew. However, it's unrelated to the two emergency EVAs astronauts took this week to repair the cooling system on board the ISS.
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