Some spectacular GoPro footage taken by astronauts at the International Space Station during their spacewalks in preparation for the arrival of commercial space crafts in 2017 were captured and released by NASA. For those of us who will never make it up there, watching them is probably the closest we’ll every get to the real thing.
GoPro cameras are high-definition personal machines that are commonly used in extreme-action video photography. They are lightweight, compact, rugged and either wearable or mountable on vehicles.
The cameras can capture either still photos or video in HD through a wide-angle lens. You can configure the degree of remote control. They are made by GoPro Inc, based in San Mateo, California.
Terry Virts on a spacewalk. (Image: NASA)
The breathtaking clips, which really do give us a feeling of being up there with NASA astronauts Barry Wilmore and Terry Virts, show incredible views of Earth from orbit never before seen, while they carried out essential maintenance work on the station.
Two videos from three spacewalks
NASA released two two-hour-long videos, all created from footage taken from three separate spacewalks by astronauts in late February and early March 2015.
During their spacewalks, Wilmore and Virts placed antennas and routed 4,000 feet of power and data cables in preparation for the arrival of commercial space crafts that should be docking with ISS in 2017.
People who will be manning those commercial crafts in two years’ time will have an idea of what to expect by looking at the two videos.
In 2014, NASA signed a deal with SpaceX and Boeing, two commercial spaceflight firms, to work on a joint venture to produce a new space craft that will transport NASA astronauts to the International Space Station.
In 2011, NASA’s space shuttle was retired after almost three decades in orbital service. Since then, the US agency has relied on Russian Soyuz capsules to transports its space crews to the ISS, paying $70 million per trip per person.
NASA hopes its multi-billion dollar contract with Boeing and SpaceX will make it less reliant on Russia and eventually cost much less to transport its people to ISS.