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NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA) have delivered the first 8K ultra-high-definition (UHD) video of astronauts living, working, and conducting research from the International Space Station. The same engineers who sent high-definition (HD) cameras, 3D cameras, and a camera capable of recording 4K footage to the space station now have delivered a new camera capable of recording images with four times the resolution than previously offered.

The Helium 8K camera by RED, a digital cinema company, is capable of shooting at resolutions ranging from conventional HDTV up to 8K; specifically, 8192 × 4320 pixels. By comparison, the average HD consumer television displays up to 1920 × 1080 pixels of resolution, and digital cinemas typically project in resolutions of 2K to 4K.

NASA astronaut Ricky Arnold films on the International Space Station with a RED Helium 8K camera. (NASA/JSC)

Viewers can watch as crewmembers advance DNA sequencing in space with the BEST investigation, study dynamic forces between sediment particles with BCAT-CS, learn about genetic differences in space-grown and Earth-grown plants with Plant Habitat-1, observe low-speed water jets to improve combustion processes within engines with Atomization, and explore station facilities such as the MELFI, Life Support Rack, JEM Airlock, and Canadarm2.

While the 4K camera brought footage of fluid behavior in the ISS microgravity environment to the world, the new 8K video takes viewers through a variety of experiments and facilities aboard the orbiting outpost.

Delivered to the station in April aboard the 14th SpaceX cargo resupply mission through a Space Act Agreement between NASA and RED, the camera's ability to record twice the pixels and at resolutions four times higher than the 4K camera brings science in orbit into the homes, laboratories, and classrooms of everyone on Earth.

The RED camera is the same brand used to record theatrical releases such as The Hobbit, Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2, and television programs such as Stranger Things, Maniac, and Lost in Space.

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