Earth-facing cameras to be installed on International Space Station

A pair of high definition cameras are to be bolted onto the International Space Station in 2012, to offer up a real-time, streaming view of planet Earth.

The company behind the ambitious plan is called UrtheCast, and it is working in collaboration with UK science hub Rutherford Appleton Laboratories and RSC Energia of the Russian Space Agency to get the cameras into space next year.

As the ISS orbits the planet, the cameras will track over the Earth, compress the footage and broadcast it back to servers on the ground. UrtheCast will then distribute the (almost) real-time data to partners and customers.

Users will be able to go hands on with the footage, in a small way. You won’t be able to physically move the camera to peer in a neighbour’s bedroom window, but you will be able to pan around the current viewpoint, zoom in and out, pause, rewind and mark clips for later viewing… Read More [via wired]

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