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.

  • Pedro Gomes

    The intent of the cameras is to take aerial pictures of Earth not usually stars, we have powerful telescopes and satellites for that. Thus resolution is more important because of landscape and geography.

  • Pedro Gomes

    When you are 400km high, you definitely want a nice zoom to take photos of a city or landmark for example