Urthecast Says Spacewalk Installed ISS Earth Viewing Cameras Just Fine


Vancouver, Canada-based UrtheCast Corp. said Tuesday that two commercial Earth viewing cameras installed by spacewalking Russian cosmonauts outside the International Space Station a day earlier provided telemetry within expected results, though the outcome passed along by Russia's Mission Control suggested otherwise.

"Contrary to the online broadcast of the installation, the telemetry was received by Mission Control Central near Moscow.  During the installation, we were able to complete all of the intended tests during the spacewalk. At this time, all telemetry received and analyzed is within our expected results," UrtheCast said in a statement.

Cosmonauts Oleg Kotov, the ISS commander, and Sergey Ryazanskiy, carried out a six-hour excursion Monday for the re-installation of a high resolution video camera and a medium resolution still camera outside the station's Russian segment Zvezda module. Through translators, Russia's mission control reported the video imager's installation and check out went well, but that the post-installation check out of the still camera failed to provide satisfactory telemetry.

Russia's Mission Control also informed the cosmonauts there would be no further efforts to troubleshoot the imagers, according to the translated live account of the spacewalk that originated with Roscosmos, the Russian federal space agency, and NASA.

Both of the UrtheCast imagers were installed by the same cosmonauts during a record setting Russian spacewalk on Dec. 27 that eclipsed the eight-hour mark. Kotov and Ryazanskiy retrieved the just-installed cameras on Dec. 27 and returned them to the inside of the station for troubleshooting. The difficulties were traced to an internal cable connection in the case of the video camera and a mix-up in external cables for the still imager.

"We're again extremely grateful to Energia and Roscosmos for providing such quick and efficient technical support throughout the camera installation process,'' UrtheCast's Chief Executive Officer said Scott Larson in Tuesday's statement. "With the cameras now successfully installed and communicating with Mission Control, UrtheCast can now focus on the routine commissioning of the cameras in preparation for the unveiling of our Ultra HD, color video of Earth.''

UrtheCast plans to offer near-real time video and still Earth views to subscribers through the Internet in partnership with Roscosmos, the Russian federal space agency.

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