British firm says its space station cameras to provide web images

Jan. 28, 2014 at 6:38 PM

DIDCOT, England, Jan. 28 (UPI) -- Two British-built Earth-observation cameras have been successfully installed on the outside of the International Space Station, their maker said.

Russian cosmonauts completed the attachment of the cameras manufactured by the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory in Oxfordshire in a 6-hour spacewalk Monday.

The cameras will be operated by the Urthecast company, a Canadian firm offering high-resolution video of the planet to be streamed to Web users.

Both cameras were reported to be passing data to the ground successfully following their installation.

"Testing of every part of the camera system will now follow," Rutherford Director Richard Holdaway told the BBC. "Once that's completed, we can expect the first imagery to be released publicly."

Urthecast aims to build a business around space station imagery, servicing customers such as news organizations that want images of major events, such as war zones or natural disasters.

"We'll be helping Urthecast," Holdaway said of the setting-up process for the cameras. "We'll be checking the optical alignment and focus, to see that it is everything we expected."

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