Two Russian cosmonauts are preparing to venture outside the International Space Station. They're hoping to finish the work that began last year. They plan to give the world a new "look."
One month ago, a mission to set up high-definition cameras was halted due to a technical malfunction.
If Monday's spacewalk is successful, the company behind the venture plans to stream high-definition video of the Earth for everyone to see. On December 27, cosmonauts Oleg Kotov and Sergey Ryazansky spent over eight hours in outer space.
Their mission was to attach two high-definition cameras to the Russian module of the International Space Station, but after bolting the cameras in place, ground crews failed to receive a signal, bringing the mission to a disappointing end.
A month later, the Canadian company behind the venture says it's confident their cameras are ready. Scott Larson, chief executive officer of UrtheCast, spent more than two years developing the technology, in partnership with the Russian space agency.
"We give the Russians the cameras. They provide the launch, the installation, the downlink, we split the data -- they take the data of Russia, we take the data of the rest of the world," Larson said.
Once installed, the cameras are expected to stream high-definition images of the Earth from 250 miles above the ground.
The space station orbits the earth every 90 minutes, and the cameras could offer a new vantage point, capturing everything from natural disasters to social upheaval. George Tyc, chief technology officer UrtheCast in Vancouver, said, "It could be that people are organizing, or there's a demonstration going on , and you'll be able to fly over and take those videos."
The company plans to stream the images online 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
"We'll be putting pictures out online that frankly no one's every seen before. And then the goal is to build that intercommunity, get people involved, overlay content on their that is useful so that people come back all the time," Larson said.
The company says it has
more than $20 million in contracts to distribute the footage it captures from
outer space. If Monday's spacewalk is successful, the cameras could be online in
a matter of weeks.