Did you know that NASA has to specially prepare cameras that are outer space bound? PopPhoto asked NASA a few questions after seeing this special rig in a recent Atlantic photo series. Can you guess what it does?
The equipment under the thermal blanket is a Nikon SB-800 flash in a custom housing that is used during a spacewalk (EVA). The flash needed a special housing because it will not work properly in the vacuum of space. The housing holds air pressure so that the flash will function properly. There is also a bracket on the bottom (covered with a white thermal blanket) that the camera and flash mount to. – NASA
I was also interested to learn that it is not uncommon for cameras to only get used once.
The cameras that come back are evaluated for damage. Depending on the condition the camera may fly again. The space environment (both inside the vehicle and on spacewalks) is tough on the electronic cameras. The radiation damages pixels on the sensor. Sometimes the damage is so great that the camera does not fly again. – NASA
Photo Credit: NASA Photo/Houston Chronicle, Smiley N. Pool