NASA Shows Off First Footage From RED DRAGON Cameras On The ISS

4K and 6K Streams coming from earth orbit

By James DeRuvo (doddleNEWS)

Last week, we celebrated the 46th anniversary of the first manned lunar landing, and I remember it like it was yesterday. As a kid, with my nose practically up against my family’s new console color TV, I remember being both amazed that I was watching live images from another world, but also disappointed because those images were black and white and so grainy that you couldn’t really make out much detail. It was just a lot of light and shadow, and a pair of ghostly characters we knew were astronauts. But at 9 I didn’t care because they were astronauts and they were walking on the moon.

Now, nearly five decades later, NASA is showing footage taken on board the International Space Station from a pair of RED Epic Dragon cameras, and I can happily say, this ain’t you’re daddy’s space footage!

The camera’s ability to record at a high resolution as well as up to 300 frames per second made it the ideal recording device to capture dynamic events like vehicle operations near the station, such as docking and undocking. The higher resolution images and higher frame rate videos can reveal more information when used on science investigations, giving researchers a valuable new tool aboard the space station. – NASA Press Release

An astronaut sails past the crews selection of RED cameras and lenses.

The footage, shot in both 4K and 6K, was taken with a RED Epic and shows the daily life on board the ISS, not just incredible vistas of the earth’s surface from orbit, although those are simply amazing, but also just conducting experiments and even eating tacos. But when you watch it via YouTube’s 2160K UHD resolution, it’s even more impressive, as astronauts are living their lives and conducting experiments, it’s almost, and I do mean almost, like you’re there. When NASA gets a Weaponized RED EPIC, you can bet we’ll be enjoying some amazingly realistic film clips.

“This is a huge leap in camera technology for spaceflight,” Grubbs said. “These cameras have large sensors capable of very high resolution imaging at high frame rates. It is like having a high speed 35MM motion picture film camera, but it is compact, can use lenses we already have up there, and it is digital. No film to return to Earth.” – Rodney Grubbs, program manager for NASA’s Imagery Experts Program

Note the dynamic range in this shot.

And that’s what has me excited. Because in the next few years, we’re going to be seeing some truly amazing footage coming from Mars. This summer the world is already abuzz about the startlingly detailed images from the New Horizons probe as it flew past Pluto, reigniting the debate over whether the tiny planet at the end of our solar system is really a planet after all.

So now, imagine when man finally makes it to Mars. I know RED will be there, and likely and 8K GoPro as well. And won’t that be great? Can you imagine being able to project the first steps on Mars into  your living room with an “Illumiroom” system like Microsoft is experimenting with? And can you imagine it in 8K or beyond?

We are truly on the crest of being able to bring the rest of humanity with them as they boldly go where no man has gone before. I only hope I live long enough to see it. Meanwhile, filming life on the ISS from 250 miles up in earth orbit, in 4K and 6K will just have to do.

Hat Tip – NFS

About doddle 16509 Articles
Doddlenews is the news division of the Digital Production Buzz, a leading online resource for filmmakers, covering news, reviews and tutorials for the video and film industry, along with movie and TV news, and podcasting.

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