Experience High-Res Science in First 8K Footage from Space

Fans of science in space can now experience fast-moving footage in even higher definition as NASA delivers the first 8K ultra high definition (UHD) video of astronauts living, working and conducting research from the International Space Station.

The same engineers who sent high-definition (HD) cameras, 3D cameras, and a camera capable of recording 4K footage to the space station have now delivered a new camera– Helium 8K camera by RED – capable of recording images with four times the resolution than the previous camera offered.

Let’s compare this camera to others: The Helium 8K camera is capable of shooting at resolutions ranging from conventional HDTV up to 8K, specifically 8192 x 4320 pixels. By comparison, the average HD consumer television displays up to 1920 x 1080 pixels of resolution, and digital cinemas typically project 2K to 4K.

Viewers can watch as crew members advance DNA sequencing in space with the BEST investigation, study dynamic forces between sediment particles with BCAT-CS, learn about genetic differences in space-grown and Earth-grown plants with Plant Habitat-1, observe low-speed water jets to improve combustion processes within engines with Atomization and explore station facilities such as the MELFI, the Plant Habitat, the Life Support Rack, the JEM Airlock and the CanadArm2.

Delivered to the station aboard the fourteenth SpaceX cargo resupply mission through a Space Act Agreement between NASA and RED, this camera’s ability to record twice the pixels and at resolutions four times higher than the 4K camera brings science in orbit into the homes, laboratories and classrooms of everyone on Earth. 

While the 8K resolutions are optimal for showing on movie screens, NASA video editors are working on space station footage for public viewing on YouTube. Viewers will be able to watch high-resolution footage from inside and outside the orbiting laboratory right on their computer screens. Viewers will need a screen capable of displaying 8K resolution for the full effect, but the imagery still trumps that of standard cameras. RED videos and pictures are shot at a higher fidelity and then down-converted, meaning much more information is captured in the images, which results in higher-quality playback, even if viewers don’t have an 8K screen.   

The full UHD files are available for download for use in broadcast. Read the NASA media usage guidelines

“Don’t bump the camera.”

Carl the Animator: “What?”

Ted the Animator: “I said, don’t bump the camera.”

Carl the Animator: “…why would I bump it?”

Ted the Animator: “You’re walking with your phone, somehow managing to pay less attention than usual.”

Carl the Animator: “Oh c’mon, the Homestarrunner Halloween ‘toon just dropped, this is importa–…”

Ted the Animator: “…”

Carl the Animator: “…”

Ted the Animator: “I repeat: don’t bump the camera.

Carl the Animator: “What can I say. Spacial awareness isn’t high on my priorities.”

Ted the Animator: “Ain’t nobody can get fatally irresponsible with cameras like Carl.”