The New ISS Cameras to Stream Live HD Video of your Home from Space

Being a PI, one of my most useful tools is Google Earth, it gives me a visual representation of where I’m going to be the following day, it also allows me to plan my routes, or set ups in high risk locations. However, a company called UrtheCast is going to attach a high definition video camera with an extremely powerful zoom in lens to the side of the International Space Station. The camera will be sending down live video footage of the Earth 24/7, with enough resolution to see your self waving from space.

UrtheCast is partnering up with the Russian Space Agency to install the two multi million dollar cameras on the ISS later this year. They hope that by mid 2012 this setup will be able to take 30 mile wide pictures with a resolution of 18 feet per pixel. This camera will be about as good as Google Earth’s camera, however their Video Camera is going to be a different story, it will be able to stream about 3.25 frames per second at an awesome resolution of three feet per pixel.

The only difference between UrtheCast and Google Earth is the fact that you won’t be able to direct the camera to any actual direction when ever you want. Since the camera will be attached to the ISS, we will be stuck with a small viewing angle. The ISS orbits the earth about 16 times a day, anywhere between 52 degrees south latitude, and  52 degrees north latitude. Fortunately you can go to the UrtheCast website and use their tools to figure out exactly when the camera will be passing over your heads, IF you are on it’s path you might be able to get a pixel in the picture.

Here is an idea, get a couple of your friends together, have a couple of people dressed as zombies, by couple I mean a good 200 or so, and have 5 or more other people run away from them shooting at them… $20 bucks who ever pulls that stunt will go viral, Real Life Satellite Television who wouldn’t want to see that?

UrtheCast, via Calgary Herald

Miniature Robot with Camera wants to Navigate through your Bowels!

For the most part, growing older is a sing of Maturity, and and if you play your cards right you get called a Master… but on the other part, you have to start to going to the doctor to see if you suffer from Colon Cancer, or Prostate Cancer. I don’t know about you, but getting your colon looked at doesn’t sound to be the most pleasant experience in the world, but this new device from Japanese researchers could make things a bit better when that day comes.

The device is a the worlds’ first self propelled endoscopy robot, it actually swims through your digestive tract using a mermaid like tail, it then swims through your entire body in a matter of hours.  It is piloted via a Joystick and it has a video camera to show the “user” what it sees. It’s like a mini submarine that can travel both ways, up your track, and down your track… so yes, it does go against the digestive track…

The researches are hoping that this new camera will entice more of the male population to visit the doctor for routine check ups before it’s to late.

Source: AFP via Pop Sci

Maggie Pro 3-inch LCD Magnifier

Are you seeing impaired, suffer from old age, or just plain blind? Then this product may be the one just for you.

The Maggie is a handheld electronic magnifier that can magnify print or digital content up to 4x, 6x, 8x, and 11x. It is small enough to fit in a pocket with a 3-inch LCD screen, and there is a brightness control for varying lighting conditions for indoors and out.

Maggie is powered by a lithium-ion battery which can be charged via USB or wall-socket charger for about 3.5 hours of use.

In reality, the Maggie looks more like a cellphone, which it’s added advantage, you no longer have to pull out that embarrassing magnifying glass in public. Now it looks as if you are texting somebody. Only problem is that they cost about the same as a phone, the only difference is that you can’t make calls from the Maggie. I’m sure you can download an app that can achieve close to the same thing for a fraction of the cost. But, if having a digital Magnifying Glass is your way to go, check them out here.

Omega Cam takes 268 Megapixel Photos of our galaxy

The image above is the 1,700 pound sensor that gives the wide angle eye to the (VST) the VLT Survey Telescope, it works the exact same way as the digital cameras in your phone. The only difference between the two, is that the one for the Omega Camera is a lot bigger. The sensor  has 32 individual CCD sensors and all together, they can take a 268 megapixel image from outer space.

Here is how one of the images looks like:

The picture to the side is a picture of M17, if you think this image looks amazing, wait until you see the high resolution picture found here – Astro-Wise – once you see that, you’ll be able to see exactly why this new Sensor is such a big deal.

The Omega Camera is placed in the middle of the VLT and it acts as the “catch all” sensor for all the telescopes in the VLT.

The VLT Survey Telescope (VST) program is a cooperation between the Osservatorio Astronomico di Capodimonte (OAC) and the European Southern Observatory (ESO) that began in 1997.

The camera that was in place before the Omega Cam had a damaged mirror that was destroyed in an accident that occurred during its transport from Europe to the Paranal Observatory.

So I guess we can start to get ready for  a large number of pictures from space flooding the internet in the next couple of weeks.

Astro-Wise, via PetaPixel

DARPA’s new Space Surveillance Telescope: Keeps up with space Debris

You know we spend Millions of dollars a year on Satellites, the International Space Station took years to complete at over 100 Billion dollars in the process and it finally was completed and became the brightest thing in the sky aside from the Moon and the Sun earlier this month.

Only problem is that a drop of paint in space travels at thousands of miles per hour, meaning they it can potentially damage a satellite, not serious damages, but when that object is a bolt or a nut, or even a screw driver, you can get some serious damage that can take down satellite communications..

We are creating our own space jail cell, so much, that engineers at DARPA, MIT, and the Air force had to create a new $110 Million telescope that has been in the works for 9 years now.

The new Telescope called the SST – Space Surveillance Telescope is capable of delivering wide-angle views of the earth’s firmament thanks to a curved CCD. This means that the Air Force’s Space Surveillance Network or the SSN, can look out for thousands of pieces of space junk, or meteors surrounding our earth.

Now, the satellite can only keep an eye on one side of the earth, so that’s not good, the system delivered it’s first images earlier this year, the Air Force was so satisfied that they are planning on eventually placing SSTs all over the world, so they can have a 360-degree surveillance blanket to keep our Spy Satellites safe from nuts and bolts and all other types of space junk.

We need to add a laser to that thing and start shooting down all that crap from outer space, I think in 2006 one of the shuttles came back to earth with a dent the size of a baseball caused by a drop of paint. Imagine getting knocked out by space paint when an astronaut is working on the ISS.

What’s even worse is that in 2008 a US Navy ship shot down a satellite using a missile, the reason was to protect the earth from hazardous fuel that could potentially contaminate the ocean, in the process, we added  thousands of pieces of satellite material around our earth. So I guess this new SST is going to help us keep everything in check, that is if we can manage to put a good dozen or so around the planet, very unlikely when we already shut down the SETI Because it was to expensive to maintain, at a whopping HALF a penny per US Citizen… they expect us to pay 5 full pennies per satellite?!?!?! No way!!!

Via: Engadget

Time lapse video of the very large telescope

The European Southern Observatory’s Very Large Telescope (VLT) array has taken some amazing pictures in the past, but sometimes some of the best scenery taken by the telescope happens right here in our own planet. I’m not talking about pointing the giant thing at the ground, or even a bird, I’m sure if they did, A- it would cost a lot of money and B- you’d be looking at the hairs on a flea.

But the scientist decided to add a camera to the outside of the VLT and took a time lapse video of the VLT in acction. And what they capture looks simply… amazing.

The VLT is located on top of a mountain in the Peruvian Desert, and you can go out there without a telescope, just your bear site and the sky looks beautiful. If you look at the video below, it looks as if you’re looking through the telescope it self, but in reality is just video of the night sky… now I know why astronomers love their job so much.

As you see the video, it makes you realize the vast number of stars out there, and were still just sitting there, waiting for someone to say hello back to us.

The yellow streak you see fired into the sky a few times is a laser used to calibrate the telescope for distortions caused by the Earth’s atmosphere. It sees how the straight laser beam is affected, and then applies corresponding corrections to the collected image.

Check out the video below, it starts off kind of slow, but after the 1:20 mark, it really starts to pick up some speed. Enjoy!
Video from YouTube, via Dvice


Game Boy hack records movies in 8bit

Who gets technology now days, yesterday we had a camera clocked at 200 Mega Pixels, 600 Mega Bites per picture. Today we have a camera that records in 8bit.

I used to have one of these before HD Cellphone cameras were cool, and way before this hack was cool, do you guys remember the Game Boy Camera? it’s a cartridge with an eyeball looking thing on the top, all it could do at the time was take still pictures at an amazing 8 bit quality and then you could modify the images by playing around with the “clown option” where you added clown hair to people etc.

Well, a guy modded the camera, his name is “Kraettz” and he added the ability to shoot video in 8bit, which looks pretty cool. His mod is not the best looking mod out there, duct tape holding wires together, cables sticking out of the side etc, but when he wasn’t going for looks, he was going for functionality.

The Game Boy can shoot video at 320 x 240 resolution and using a 9-volt battery you can expect to shoot for about 50 minutes. Also the portable media player can store about 40 GB of film, and that is equal to several hours of film.

I can gurrantee you that the iPhone or the Droid is going to have something similar to this in a few weeks, so before you go out and buy a new Game Boy Advance to try this your self, just wait for the app to come out.

Anyways, check out the video of kraettz when he took his “new” old-school camcorder to the slopes in the video below.

Via: OhGizmo!

Camera takes 200MP pictures for only $45,000

For $45,000 dollars you to can have a DSLR that can take pictures at 200 MP, you know, just in case you want to have a family picture that you can place on that billboard on the way home.

Hasselblad H4D-200MS has you covered, it has a 50 Megapixel sensor and the way it works is by combining six shots in order to get that resolution of 200MP. But don’t expect to get that sports action shot since every picture takes about 30 seconds.

Also once you do take the 30 second shot, you better have the camera attached to a hard drive since each photo will take up to 600MB, so I guess it’s an amazing picture… if you take bill board photos that is, for $45,000 this camera is to big, to powerful, and to unpractical for every day use. I’d much rather have my 10MP camera.