Nikon has announced that the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has placed an order for 53 Nikon D5 DSLR cameras. The space agency plans to use the cameras both at astronaut training facilities on earth, and for recording intra and extravehicular activities at the International Space Station (ISS).
The cameras ordered are standard Nikon D5 cameras with no special hardware modifications. Just as with the D3S digital SLR cameras delivered to NASA in 2009, these D5 cameras will be the same models available to consumers. Nikon, which is celebrating its centenary this year, has supported the research and observation of extreme environments such as space and the Antarctic with reliable cameras and NIKKOR interchangeable lenses.
Fans of Nikon, space exploration, and photography in general can enjoy a time-lapse video titled “Nikon in Space” – this time-lapse video was created from stunning photos of our magnificent earth captured from space using Nikon cameras and NIKKOR lenses (Watch the video below).
List of Nikon Cameras on-board NASA’s Space Missions
|1971||The Nikon Photomic FTN* (NASA specifications) and NIKKOR lens were used on Apollo 15.|
|1980||The “Small Camera”, based on the Nikon F3 film SLR camera and equipped with a motor drive, and the F3 “Big Camera”, which utilized long film, were delivered to NASA. The “Small Camera” was used aboard the Space Shuttle Columbia launched the following year.|
|1999||The Nikon F5 film SLR camera and AF NIKKOR lens were carried aboard the Space Shuttle Discovery to photograph extravehicular activities (EVA).|
|2008||The Nikon D2XS digital SLR cameras were delivered to NASA. Six D2XS cameras are used in space to document activities such as inspection and maintenance.|
|2013||A total of 38 Nikon D4 digital SLR cameras, 64 NIKKOR lenses, including the AF-S NIKKOR 800mm f/5.6E FL ED VR, and various other accessories were delivered to NASA. These products are used, among other things, to check solar panels and outer surfaces of the ISS.|
|2016||An additional 10 Nikon D4 digital SLR cameras were delivered to NASA, and are also used to check solar panels and outer surfaces of the ISS.|