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WORLDWIDE SELFIE: Cosmonauts finally get ISS cameras working

Gaze upon the whole Earth in standard def or HD, via the International Space Station

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A second spacewalk to install new high and medium definition cameras on the International Space Station appears to have been successful, despite reports that one camera's data link was experiencing problems.

Cosmonauts Oleg Kotov and Sergey Ryazanskiy stepped out to complete a camera installation job that was left unfinished during their last space stroll at the end of December.

The Expedition 38 commander and flight engineer were in the middle of setting up the cameras, which were provided by Canadian firm UrtheCast in a deal with the Russian space agency, but had to temporarily abandon the project when the cameras didn't send any data.

This time round, the high-def camera transmitted no problem, but the medium resolution camera was still having telemetry issues, according to the live online broadcast of the spacewalk. However, UrtheCast said in a statement today that both Earth-imaging cameras were working.

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

The cameras are supposed to be providing Earth views to internet-based subscribers from their perches on the Zvezda service module, in a service billed as "the first Ultra HD video platform of Earth, streamed in near realtime".

UrtheCast expects to take around three months to calibrate the cameras and get the system up and running for customers who might want the feeds, like those in the environmental or agricultural field. ®

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