Vancouver firm aims to livestream view from International Space Station
Published Wednesday, July 31, 2013 3:21PM EDT
Last Updated Wednesday, July 31, 2013 10:29PM EDT
A Vancouver-based company is hoping to follow in the footsteps of Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield and provide earthlings with spectacular views from space.
UrtheCast plans to start streaming near real-time video of the Earth from two cameras mounted on the International Space Station.
"Chris Hadfield has done something quite extraordinary with his recent trip. He's made space not only cool again, but brought a level or relevance to the experience of seeing Earth from space," Wade Larson, president of Urthecast, told CTV News.
The company says the video stream will be similar to, "Google Earth on steroids."
The first pieces of the UrtheCast platform were delivered to the space station on the latest Progress cargo vessel, which launched into orbit on Sunday.
The actual cameras are expected to be launched into space later this year and the video streaming is set to begin in early 2014.
"Astronauts talk about the overview effect. That is a profound sense of wonder, and awe, and mystery when they see the planet from outer space," Larson said. "Our vision is to enable everyone in the world with an Internet connection to get a small taste of that by providing the streaming footage from Earth to everyone for free."
Canada’s Bjarni Tryggvason, a former astronaut who spent 12 days aboard the ISS during a mission in 1997, said the service will allow space enthusiasts to see Earth in almost the same way as those who have experienced space travel.
Tryggvason estimates millions will tune in to take advantage of the opportunity.
“They’re going to give us some pretty amazing pictures of the Earth,” he told CTV. “That’ll be pretty exciting for a lot of people.”
Tryggvason said he still gives the occasional presentation on space and is looking forward to using the service to obtain more up-to-date images.
The company said individuals, schools, businesses and governments can also purchase time on the cameras to take images of specific events or locations.
With a report from CTV’s John Vennavally-Rao