- From Nikon Press Center -
Nikon has spent many years contributing to NASA's study of space through the development and manufacture of advanced cameras and Nikkor lenses.
Nikon’s history with NASA began with the Nikon Photomic FTN, a modified Nikon F camera that was used aboard the Apollo 15 in 1971.
The relationship continued with the transition to digital when NASA placed orders for Nikon D2Xs DSLR cameras in 2008. These cameras are still being used in space today.
In 2009, NASA ordered eleven D3s cameras and seven AF-S Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8G ED lenses for use in recording activities aboard the Space Shuttle and the International Space Station (ISS).
These D3s are standard consumer products with no special modifications, and were delivered to the ISS with Space Shuttle mission STS-131, which launched on on April 5 and returned on April 20, 2010.
Nikon products kept aboard the ISS
- 1 Unmodified, standard D3s
- 8 D2Xs modified according to NASA specifications for recording extravehicular activities (EVA)
- 36 Nikkor lenses, including three tele-converters
- 7 SB-800 Speedlights
- 4 D2Xs eyepieces made exclusively for NASA. Special eyepiece viewfinders that enable image framing and verification through a space helmet during extravehicular activities.
|The Nikon F3 "Big Camera"|
Nikon's history with NASA
- 1971: The Nikon Photomic FTN (NASA specs), supporting TTL center-weighted metering was used on Apollo 15.
- 1980: The “Small Camera”, based on the Nikon F3 and equipped with a motor drive, and the F3 "Big Camera", which utilized long film, were delivered to NASA. The “Small Camera” was used aboard the Space Shuttle Columbia launched the following year.
- 1991: The Nikon F4 and F4s were delivered to NASA
- 1999: The Nikon F5 and AI AF Nikkor lens were carried aboard the Space Shuttle Discovery to photograph extravehicular activities (EVA)
- 2008: D2Xs delivered to NASA. Eight D2Xs cameras are still used in space to document activities such as inspections and maintenance operations.
- In addition, approximately 15 types of lenses, more than 35 all together, are kept aboard the International Space Station for intra- and extra-vehicular photography in support of NASA’s space activities.
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