Vancouver Space Watchers Urthecast Installs More Cameras on ISS

Vancouver-based Urthecast, the new and heavily-funded company that’s trying its best to democratizing earth observation, by making its live stream of Earth available to the public and private sector.

The company announce this morning that it installed two additional cameras on the NASA segment of the International Space Station, in partnership with NanoRacks, and with approval from NASA. Back in late January the company successfully installed its first two cameras on the Russian side of the ISS.

The cameras and their components are scheduled to launch to the ISS in 2016, and we anticipate that the data will be available in 2017.

“This is certainly a significant advancement of UrtheCast’s business plan,” said CEO Scott Larson. “Having additional sensors on the International Space Station not only mitigates our technology risk, but also adds to our current suite of cameras aboard the Station, improving upon the quality and quantity of data that we can offer our customers — for everything ranging from scientific research to resource monitoring.”

“Being both educational and scientifically focused, these sensors will help augment NASA’s efforts to more fully utilize the International Space Station as a National Lab, while enabling more commercial stakeholders to participate,” said Michael Read, NASA manager of the ISS National Lab Office.

Finally, the company’s medium-resolution camera, Theia, is now capable of commercial imaging, and thus will be made available purchase. We don’t know how much it will cost, but it definitely won’t be cheap.

“Successful completion of the MRC’s commissioning phase is a significant milestone for our team. We’re extremely grateful for the hard work of the engineering teams at UrtheCaast, Energia, and Roscosmos. This is another testament to how well these teams continue to work together,” commented UrtheCast’s Chief Technology Officer, Dr. George Tyc.

Theia captured this shot of Rome this morning from its medium-resolution, real-time stream from space.


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