Sometime in 2012 anyone will be able to view continuous video of space streamed over the Internet from the International Space Station (ISS) if an effort to mount two cameras to the exterior of the spacecraft goes as planned.
The Canadian company UrtheCast has negotiated a deal with Roscosmos—the Russian space agency—for the transport of two cameras to the ISS during 2011, and for the cameras to be mounted on the exterior. The video will be downlinked to Earth and broadcast online.
One camera will shoot in high-definition, with a frame rate of 3.25 fps, and another will broadcast in lower resolution, offering a three-color image. It will provide the first high-definition continuous video footage of Earth, according to Scott Larson, co-founder and president of UrtheCast, in a promotional video.
The system will involve Google Earth and YouTube, Larson says, connecting live footage with maps and other capabilities. Users will be able to pause, rewind and zoom, and view specific times and locations so long as the ISS was passing overhead at the time.