World’s first ever high definition, streaming video of planet Earth, installed on the outside of the International Space Station through a joint effort with the Russian Space Agency, the camera will provide a 40 km wide, high resolution, color image down to as close as 1.1 metres.
UrtheCast is building, launching, installing, and operating two cameras on the Russian module of the International Space Station. The station travels at 26,000 km per hour and orbits the Earth 16 times a day at an altitude of approximately 350 km.
Starting in mid-2012, video data of the Earth collected by the cameras will be down-linked to ground stations around the planet and then displayed in near real time on the UrtheCast web platform, and allow users to track the location of the International Space Station, where it can be viewed, downloaded and manipulated by Users around the world.
Users will be able to search for videos of a particular location, type or theme. Like a personal video recorder, it will allow users the ability to interact with the HD video feed in real time as it is fed from the servers. Users will be able to zoom in and out, to “virtually” steer the camera from side to side, to rewind, and to fast forward as they check out areas and things of interest on the Earth.
The UrtheCast web platform will feel like a blending of a video version of GoogleEarth with the video playback and search functionality of YouTube. It will operate seamlessly with social media sites like FaceBook and Twitter.
It will enable a new way to see major international news stories like the crisis at Fukushima, the public uprising in Tahrir square, or refugee camps in the Sudan. A rich educational perspective for viewing the wonders of the planet in a manner never before possible.
It will be new way for us to explore and see our planet from space, it will be like Google Earth in real time.