Astronauts are ‘shooting’ for the Moon as they try out a new hi-tech space camera here on Earth.
The scientists from the European Space Agency have partnered with NASA’s Artemis imagery team to try out the kit.
Engineers behind the Handheld Universal Lunar Camera (HULC) tested it within the lunar-like landscapes of Lanzarote, Spain, putting the new camera through its paces during the PANGAEA training program.
PANGAEA prepares astronauts to become effective field scientists for future missions to the Moon.
During the geological field trips, astronauts document their exploration work using the ESA tool that allows geology instructors at a base station to follow and support the crew with live audio and video in real time.
Astronauts of the Apollo 11 mission took iconic images of the Moon with a very different camera—a standalone, mechanical Hasselblad camera with a Harrison Schmidt 60 mm lens. During that mission, the astronauts collected 1,407 photos from four of these cameras on tripods.
The next time astronauts return to the Moon, they’ll take more pictures of the luner surface than ever—after this realistic taste of lunar surface exploration.
The new camera is built from professional off-the-shelf cameras with great sensitivity to light and state-of-the-art lenses, but with modifications from NASA—including adding a blanket for dust and thermal protection for temperatures which range from minus 200 to 120 degrees Celsius. A new set of ergonomic buttons now make it easy for astronauts in space suits to shoot pics wearing bulky gloves.
The teams have done extensive testing for the three major challenges of space: thermal, vacuum…
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