Canadian Cameras On Space Station Not Working, Removed For Repairs

Two cameras developed by Vancouver-based Urthecast were expected to transmit images of the Earth on the Internet early next year from the International Space Station, but were removed for safety reasons. (Urthecast/Canadian Press)

Two cameras developed by Vancouver-based Urthecast were expected to transmit images of the Earth on the Internet early next year from the International Space Station, but were removed for safety reasons. (Urthecast/Canadian Press)

Canadian Space Camera Removed from ISS

Due to technical difficulties, two Canadian space cameras installed at the International Space Station were removed. They are being stored inside until the reasons they did not receive power and work properly are determined.

Two Russian cosmonauts installed the cameras with no problems. Later the Mission Control Centre near Moscow claimed they could not send or receive data from the cameras. They needed to determine if the cameras were working and could withstand temperature changes in space. A Vancouver based company called Urthecast installed the cameras.

One of the cameras takes photos and the other streams videos. They were installed to take images of the Earth early in 2014. These cameras were also designed to observe agriculture, forests, and environmental issues, said Vancouver-based UrtheCast in a statement.

“As a consequence, senior technical personnel… jointly decided that the safest and most prudent course of action was to uninstall the cameras and bring them back inside the ISS to be reinstalled at a later date, once the data transmission problem has been solved,” it said Monday.

They will be reinstalled at a later date. This will probably take place in mid January of 2014. The cameras did not work during a five hour spacewalk when cosmonauts were orbiting about 400 kilometers over the Great Lakes. They claim part of the problem came from connectors not working properly.

The cameras went through rigorous testing trying to simulate conditions in space. They were subject to hot and cold temperatures, vibrated extensively, and blasted with radiation. These cameras were designed by the company to give the general public a look at what the astronaut see when in space.

“Delays like this happen in space. That’s the nature of the business,” explained Scott Larson, UrtheCast’s Chief Executive Officer. “The critical thing is to proceed carefully and deliberately, without taking undue risk. Fortunately, our project is on a manned platform, which gives us the ability to respond to incidents of this kind as they arise. The right decision was made to ensure the long-term success of this joint project. We are grateful for the extraordinary professionalism and dedication of UrtheCast’s and RSC Energia’s technical personnel.”

These cameras will allow people on Earth to see something as small as a one meter wide image. The video camera is designed to take continuous panoromic views of earth as the space station orbits Earth. The camera can view a section of earth or band between latitudes of 51 degrees north and 51 degrees south. This hits the southern tip of Chile and Argentina.

Many of the images that come from these space cameras will be free the the public to see. From the web you can find out when the space station with the camera will be passing over the area you live in. These are just few ways the company plans to use the cameras.

References:

Malfunctioning Canadian space cameras removed from ISS

http://www.cbc.ca/news/technology/malfunctioning-canadian-space-cameras-removed-from-iss-1.2479327

Space station’s Canadian cameras not working after spacewalk

http://www.cbc.ca/news/technology/space-station-s-canadian-cameras-not-working-after-spacewalk-1.2476963

Space station’s views of Earth to be streamed by B.C. firm

http://www.cbc.ca/news/technology/space-station-s-views-of-earth-to-be-streamed-by-b-c-firm-1.1357081



Sean is a London (Ontario) based writer, and has been writing full-time for eCanadNow since May of 2005, covering Canadian topics and world issues. Since 2009, Sean has been the lead editor for eCanadaNow. Prior to his work writing and editing for the eCanadaNow, he worked as a freelancer for several Canadian newspapers.. You can contact Sean at {Sean at ecanadanow.com] Google