May 5, 2009
IMAX 3-D Camera To Film Hubble Servicing Mission
NASA, the IMAX Corporation and Warner Bros. Pictures announced Monday that IMAX 3-D cameras will return to space to document one of NASA's most complex space shuttle operations -- the final servicing mission to the Hubble Space Telescope.
The IMAX 3-D cameras will launch aboard space shuttle Atlantis, which is scheduled to lift off May 11. Astronauts will use the cameras to film five spacewalks needed to repair and upgrade Hubble. The IMAX footage will be combined with breathtaking detailed images of distant galaxies from Hubble in the upcoming IMAX and Warner Bros. Pictures co-production, "Hubble 3D," set for release in spring 2010.
"We have worked with IMAX on past Hubble missions and are excited about working with them again on the current Hubble mission. The Hubble Space Telescope continues to dazzle us with the splendor of our universe, and after the mission we look forward to many more years of awe-inspiring imagery," said Bob Jacobs, NASA's acting assistant administrator for public affairs at NASA Headquarters in Washington. "IMAX has developed innovative 3-D image capture and projection technology that creates a large-scale, immersive educational experience in which those of us on the ground are no longer passive observers of spaceflight, we're active participants."
The IMAX team has trained Atlantis' crew at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston to operate the cameras. One will be mounted outside the crew cabin in the shuttle's cargo bay to capture IMAX 3-D images of the historic final servicing mission. The commander and pilot will double as filmmakers as two teams of spacewalking astronauts -- working in tandem with the shuttle's robotic arm -- perform some of the most challenging work ever undertaken in space as they replace and refurbish many of the telescope's precision instruments.
"It's been said that the IMAX experience is the next best thing to being in space, and with IMAX 3-D, the audience really is there," producer and director Toni Myers said. "Fifteen years ago, we made a film about space exploration that included Hubble, when it started sending back the first images. Today, we have Hubble's entire phenomenal legacy of data to explore. With IMAX 3-D, we can transport people to galaxies that are 13 billion light years away -- back to the edge of time. Real star travel is here at last."
Through the world's most immersive cinematic experience, "Hubble 3D" will give audiences a front row seat as the story unfolds. It will reveal the cosmos as never before, allowing viewers of all ages to explore the grandeur of the nebulae and galaxies, the birth and death of stars, and some of the greatest mysteries of our celestial surroundings, all in IMAX 3-D.
IMAX's longstanding partnership with NASA has enabled millions of people to travel into space through a series of award-winning IMAX films. The IMAX 3-D camera made its first voyage into space in 2001 for the production of "Space Station 3D." The "Hubble 3D" film will mark Warner Bros. Pictures' first venture into space.
Image Caption: Space shuttle Atlantis launches from Kennedy Space Center, Florida for STS-71. Image Credit: NASA
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