PetaPixel

Astronaut Leaves Nikon DSLRs and Lens in Space to Burn

Italian astronaut Paolo Nespoli recently captured some amazing one-of-a-kind photographs of the Space Shuttle Endeavour docked with the International Space Station from about 600 feet away using a Nikon D3x and 24-120mm lens. What’s interesting is the standard practice for returning to Earth: while the memory cards are brought down safely with the astronauts in a descent module, the camera gear is left in the orbital module, which falls into Earth’s atmosphere and burns up!

That’s standard practice for Soyuz re-entries: The astronauts take only what they need and shed the excess baggage to cut down on weight … even if that excess baggage retails for about $8,000, as was the case for the Nikon. [#]

Nespoli reportedly also brought a D2Xs up as well. Too bad they couldn’t just leave it on the Space Station and add to its Nikon stash

(via Cosmic Log)


P.S. Nespoli shot 100,000 while in space, and has posted many of them to his Flickr page.


 
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  • http://profiles.google.com/slimspidey Spider- Man

    Where is the guy complaining about the money spent on space shuttle HDRs now LOL

  • http://profiles.google.com/bennydanny Benjamim Daniel

    Do you know any cheap flights to space? Need to get one right now!

  • guest

    $8,000 is chump change for government spending lol. 

  • http://twitter.com/TriadX1 TriadX1

    That does not make a lot of sense.  I understand taking stuff up is EXPENSIVE (like $7600/lb), but once it is there, why not leave it and save yourself from bring up another one the next trip? 

  • Snarlton

    That hurts my heart.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Tatyana-Skymyrka/723478596 Tatyana Skymyrka

    Question:
    why 3dx? wouldn’t 3ds be a better choice for iso range? I would imagine it would take precedence over resolution for zero gravity hand helds? anyone knows/guess?

  • Dnguyen

    RESOLUTION > ALL, when you have every star in the nearby universe lighting up your photographs.

  • http://twitter.com/d7e7r7 David Ritchie

    I suppose this puts it into context: 
    “While $20,000 may sound like a huge amount to spend on hardware just to have it destroyed, keep in mind that putting items into orbit isn’t a cheap endeavour. The cost of getting mass into space via a Soyuz launch is around $5300 per kilogram. With around 4.3kg in camera gear that we know of (those D3 models aren’t light), that’s more than $20,000 again just to get the cameras up there in the first place.”
    via http://www.popphoto.com/gear/2011/06/astronauts-leave-20000-nikon-gear-to-burn-orbit

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  • http://twitter.com/zfny Zefanya Hanata

    Your statement doesn’t justify the lens though

  • Mrjl11

    That does make sense actually..Nespoli have to use a camera to take picture of shuttle and ISS from soyuz (on its way for re-entries). Before re-entries happen they try shed any excess baggage to minimize weight and that when they just left the camera on the orbiter which will burn.

  • http://www.ddw.ca DDW – Calgary Web Designer

    Next time I wish on a falling star, I’m wishing for a D3s! 

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  • http://twitter.com/TriadX1 TriadX1

    If they do that every time and as long as those few photos are worth tens of thousands of dollars, I guess so…

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  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=689159289 Brendan Gray

    Didn’t the Apollo astronauts leave behind Hasselblad bodies on the moon?  I thought I read somewhere that they brought Hasselblads with them to take photographs, and just brought the film back, for the same reason, to save weight. 

    OK, this link says that on Apollo 11, they left behind 1 camera body:

    http://history.nasa.gov/apollo_photo.html

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=689159289 Brendan Gray

    Didn’t the Apollo astronauts leave behind Hasselblad bodies on the moon?  I thought I read somewhere that they brought Hasselblads with them to take photographs, and just brought the film back, for the same reason, to save weight. 

    OK, this link says that on Apollo 11, they left behind 1 camera body:

    http://history.nasa.gov/apollo_photo.html

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