First Earth Image From UrtheCast Camera Shows Breathtaking Detail
Lawrence LeBlond for redOrbit.com – Your Universe Online
UrtheCast, a Vancouver, British Columbia-based company has joyously released the first Earth imagery its flagship camera Theia has taken while mounted to the International Space Station. Mounted to the space lab’s Zvezda module during a January 27, 2014 spacewalk, the camera was designed to capture “6-meter, 50-km-wide swaths of still imagery.”
While the latest image has been released to the public, and soon to be made available commercially over the UrtheCast platform, the greater goal is to have each image processed and constantly fed to the UrtheCast platform, bringing a perpetual stream of the Earth as it passes below the orbiting station.
“Theia’s near realtime stream will give you a chance to see some truly breathtaking sights — from fuming volcanoes, to the pulse of the city and its web of lights at night,” reads a statement from UrhteCast.
“This is a pivotal moment for the company and for everyone who’s been a part of the vision that we set in motion in 2010,” stated UrtheCast Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer, Scott Larson in a statement. “Our team has been working extremely hard to make certain that we reach this goal of democratizing a very powerful perspective on the world. We couldn’t be more grateful to the incredibly determined engineering teams at UrtheCast, RSC Energia, and Rutherford Appleton Laboratories.”
The image released today was captured on March 28, 2014 at 1 p.m. GMT as the ISS flew over Moneague, Jamaica. The photo is approximately 3200×8000 pixels (split in two sections above/below) and covers an area of about 180 square miles (300 sq. km).
“With the successful capture, downlink and delivery of this commercial grade imagery, the Company continues to focus on the commissioning and calibration of its high-resolution camera and the bi-axial pointing platform, in addition to ground system testing and the continuation of its business plan,” reads an UrhteCast statement.
UrtheCast maintains that there will be no issues with the continuing operation of Theia, despite the recent contract suspensions between NASA and Russia.
“It is business as usual for the Company, as we continue the commissioning of our cameras on the International Space Station,” advised Wade Larson, UrtheCast President and COO. “The ISS has long enjoyed a privileged position in international diplomacy and has survived unscathed during multiple international crises in recent years. In fact, we understand that the ISS has been nominated for this year’s Nobel Peace Prize. I think that says a lot.”
Image Below: Image taken over Moneague, Jamaica by UrtheCast (This is the right side of the total image; left side shown above). Credit: UrtheCast