Japanese space agency to send 8K camera to Mars mission


The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency and broadcaster NHK are teaming up to develop a space camera capable of filming in 4K and 8K resolutions to capture Mars as never seen before. Meanwhile, 8K video remains prohibitive back here on Earth, so if you want to get ridiculously high resolution images, this just might as well be something out of the ordinary.

In A press release Announcing the collaboration this week, JAXA said this “Super Hi-Vision Camera” will film the red planet and its moons, Phobos and Deimos, during the agency’s Martian Moons eX exploration mission. Once installed on the MMX spacecraft, it will take photos of Mars at regular intervals and partially transmit them to Earth to “create a fluid image” and store the originals in a return capsule taken home.

In addition to filming Mars, the camera would also help JAXA and NHK visualize the behavior of the spacecraft on Earth by combining flight data with its ultra-high resolution images. It could also help them operate the spacecraft, JAXA added.

“By filming MMX’s mission to the Martian system, 300 million kilometers from Earth, with the newly developed Super Hi-Vision camera, JAXA and NHK will work together to convey the allure of a new horizon that had never been never been seen in detail before, to many people in a lively and inspiring way, ”JAXA said.

MMX is expected to launch in 2024 and reach Mars by 2025, so it will be some time yet before we can see these 8K images. With such detailed images, it could help scientists unravel the riddle of Mars’ history and take a closer look at how microbes and the water endure on the surface of the planet. And, of course, NHK will forgo the deal with literally one-of-a-kind imagery that no other broadcaster can hope to match. Now this is what you call a win-win situation.

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