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Set the TiVo: NASA plans HDTV broadcast from space

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Next week, NASA will make the first ever high definition TV broadcast from space, in a collaboration with the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency and Discovery HD theatre.

The two live broadcasts are scheduled for November 15, when ESA astronaut Thomas Reiter will serve as cameraman. The footage will be streamed live back to earth using the so-called Space Video Gateway.

The kit needed for the broadcasts, including a camcorder, viewfinder and lenses, was installed during the last visit Atlantis made to the ISS. That mission also transported cabling, an HDTV signal decoder, processor and hard drive to the crew of the space station.

Although high definition footage has been filmed aboard the station before, the recordings have had to be physically retrieved before being checked and broadcast. This will be the first time HD images have been streamed live from the station.

NASA says that high def footage of life aboard the space station will not just be interesting to the public, but useful for scientists, engineers and mission managers at NASA.

The footage will be aired in the US on Discovery HD Theater at 10:30 a.m. CST.

Readers with a particular interest in the history of images from space might like to have a read of this article, which tells the story of the first ever picture of Earth taken from beyond the atmosphere, back in 1946. ®

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