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NASA upgrades the ISS for 4K UHD

The agency hopes to begin streaming live events from the International Space Station in 4K

NASA is updating the camera technology on the International Space Station to film in 4K UHD.

In an interview with the Hollywood Reporter, Carlos Fontanot, NASA’s International Space Station imagery manager revealed work is underway to install Canon XF 705 camcorders.

“For daily use, those cameras will be set up for 720p 60 [HD] because it is the standard for the news media and for NASA Television. However, anything that we record on the cameras on SD cards will be in 4K UHD,” said Fontanot.

“We have started a project, basically end-to-end from the station all the way to the ground and to our video control centre, to be able to do live 4K events from the station.”

Fontanot added that the project is expected to be completed by the end of the year, and will enable the ISS to host 4K interviews with astronauts for major events such as the Olympic Games.

The ISS has 10 Canon cameras on board at any given time, as well as a RED Helium, however that is currently in the process of being replaced after it malfunctioned.

“We don’t know what it is [but] it could very well be [that] it’s been sapped by radiation, which is a very common occurrence of [the] board and very specific type of activities that we do,” explained Fontanot. “So the current Red that we had onboard is coming back and we’re flying another Red Helium to replace it.”

“The workflow from the ISS is well established,” he said. “Currently, we have six live HD video channels that are streaming continuously 24/7. And, by the end of the calendar year, we will have eight HD channels that will be streaming continuously.”