It just came to the news that NASA just spent $344,500, 1/56,604th ($19.5 billion) of their budget of 2017, to buy 53 Nikon D5 Cameras to use on the International Space Station and in its training facilities.
Some of the Nikon DSLR gear onboard the ISS. Photo by Tim Peake.
NASA has an old relationship with NIKON. It ordered 38 Nikon D4 cameras in 2013 and an additional 10 just last year. The two organizations have worked together since 1971.
|1971||The Nikon Photomic FTN (NASA specifications) and NIKKOR lens were used on Apollo 15.|
|1980||The “Small Camera”, based on the Nikon F3 film SLR camera and equipped with a motor drive, and the F3 “Big Camera”, which utilized long film, were delivered to NASA.
The “Small Camera” was used aboard the Space Shuttle Columbia launched the following year.
|1999||The Nikon F5 film SLR camera and AF NIKKOR lens were carried aboard the Space Shuttle Discovery to photograph extravehicular activities (EVA).|
|2008||The Nikon D2XS digital SLR cameras were delivered to NASA. Six D2XS cameras are used in space to document activities such as inspection and maintenance.|
|2013||A total of 38 Nikon D4 digital SLR cameras, 64 NIKKOR lenses, including the AF-S NIKKOR 800mm f/5.6E FL ED VR, and various other accessories were delivered to NASA.
These products are used, among other things, to check solar panels and outer surfaces of the ISS.
|2016||An additional 10 Nikon D4 digital SLR cameras were delivered to NASA, and are also used to check solar panels and outer surfaces of the ISS.|
The Nikon D5 DSLRs NASA just ordered will have no modifications and will be the same versions offered to consumers.
Nikon says that NASA will use the D5 cameras to record its intra and extra-vehicular activities on the ISS, as well as at astronaut training facilities on Earth.
Nikon has also published this timelapse of its cameras’ activities with NASA which you can view below: