NASA Buys 48 Nikon D2xs For Upcoming Spaceflights.

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by Rita Ä Berkowitz, Aug 5, 2007.

  1. I wonder why NASA would select this ancient beast over the Canon Mk III? I
    know that the D2xs is very robust and bulletproof, but it doesn't have the
    high ISO performance of the Mk III. Does NASA know something we don't?


    Rita Ä Berkowitz, Aug 5, 2007
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  2. Rita Ä Berkowitz

    Pete D Guest

    I guess they have run out of money and just can't afford good ones like the
    Pete D, Aug 5, 2007
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  3. Rita Ä Berkowitz

    PixelPix Guest

    I once read that Canon's are not used in space because they use
    fluorite lens elements. These tend to shatter/crack in the deep cold
    of space.
    PixelPix, Aug 5, 2007
  4. Rita Ä Berkowitz

    Bob Salomon Guest

    To be used on the Space Shuttle or the Space Station a camera must go
    through exhaustive testing for out gassing and then any problems found
    by NASA during the destructive out gassing tests must be changed by the
    manufacturer before NASA will purchase for use on the Shuttle or the
    Space Station. Nikon has passed these tests and been modified in the
    past as has Rollei 6008, Hasselblad and the Linhof Aero Technika 45
    which all do or have flown regularly.

    In addition NASA probably has a rather large collection of Nikon
    modified lenses for space (the windows on the shuttle are an easily
    scratched quartz. So the front of each lens has a protective ring on it
    so the lens can't scratch the window (NASA also uses these protective
    rings over their Heliopan filters that are space ready).

    Lastly the astronauts are pilots, doctors and scientists. Not
    photographers. They undergo extensive training on their specific mission
    for years They also undergo training on the other mission ready
    equipment. This includes the cameras. If they are already proficient on
    the Nikon it is a considerable manpower savings to not have to cross
    train them on a different system.

    And, the Nikons must do the job that is needed to be done to the
    satisfaction of the end users of the images.
    Bob Salomon, Aug 5, 2007
  5. Rita Ä Berkowitz

    Toby Guest

    It's a simple matter to mount Nikon lenses on a Canon body.


    I once read that Canon's are not used in space because they use
    fluorite lens elements. These tend to shatter/crack in the deep cold
    of space.
    Toby, Aug 5, 2007
  6. Rita Ä Berkowitz

    RichA Guest

    They can't afford to have technical problems with cameras on space
    missions. "Hey, somethings wrong with the focus on this 1DMkIII! Can
    we fly home and get a new one?"
    RichA, Aug 5, 2007
  7. Rita Ä Berkowitz

    RichA Guest

    Where did you get THAT from? Quartz is hardness 7 on the Moh scale.
    Glass is about 5. Fluorite is 4, but they don't use it for outer
    RichA, Aug 5, 2007
  8. Rita Ä Berkowitz

    Pete D Guest

    Where did you get THAT from? Quartz is hardness 7 on the Moh scale.
    Glass is about 5. Fluorite is 4, but they don't use it for outer
    Pete D, Aug 5, 2007
  9. Rita Ä Berkowitz

    Bob Salomon Guest

    NASA. We sold them the Rolleis, Linhofs and the Heliopan filters.

    Each lens has a protective plastic ring on them to prevent them from
    scratching the windows in the shuttle.

    Ask NASA if you want a technical reason why.
    Bob Salomon, Aug 5, 2007
  10. Rita Ä Berkowitz

    Frank Arthur Guest

    Thanks for your concise, factual, illuminating reasons given!
    Frank Arthur, Aug 5, 2007
  11. Rita Ä Berkowitz

    RichA Guest

    I think I know why. Glass can be scratched in two ways, either
    because the material is harder than it is (quartz) or that enough
    force is used to fracture the glass, and "gouge" scratches. If some
    camera somehow got loose during liftoff, or whenever, it could be a
    projectile. So why not rubber coat the whole body?
    RichA, Aug 6, 2007
  12. Rita Ä Berkowitz

    -hh Guest

    They already answered that: FAR Part 12.

    If you go read Part 12, what you'll find is that its a requirement on
    how to purchase commercial off-the-shelf items, which essentially does
    not carry any requirement to be competitively bid for Product A versus
    B: all you need is a minimum number of published vendor bids for A or

    As such, NASA can specify that they want whichever brand that they
    want ... and it merely means that they've chosen that brand for
    whatever reason. The FAR requirement for competition means that it is
    the retailers who then compete for the 'bid', B&H versus Adorama
    versus whoever ... but all for Nikon model XYZ.

    In any Canon-vs-Nikon war, it means utterly nothing.

    -hh, Aug 6, 2007
  13. Rita Ä Berkowitz

    frederick Guest

    They should buy polycarbonate bodied models. I note that they ask that
    strap eyelets can be removed without damage to the camera.
    As for the glass windows, this is interesting:
    "The innermost pane is a "scratch" pane a little less than a 12.7 cm
    (half-inch thick) <sic - 12.7cm must be 12.7mm>. Its primary purpose is
    to prevent condensation from forming on the pressure panes. The scratch
    pane has a special anti-scratch coating that stands up to accidental
    nicks or bumps from any camera lenses that might be mounted to observe
    frederick, Aug 6, 2007
  14. Rita Ä Berkowitz

    Sheldon Guest

    All this is very interesting, but there's specs and news reports, and then
    there's reality. I have the same watch that was worn on the moon and
    qualified for all space missions -- an Omega (The Moon Watch). While I love
    the watch, and it's served me for over 30 years, as soon as word got out the
    people at Rolex started the same whining that you Canon people are doing
    right now.

    So, the story goes that when Neil Armstrong walked out the door of the lunar
    lander he gave his Omega to another astronaut who needed a watch to replace
    a gauge that was malfunctioning. Armstrong wore his personal watch, a
    Rolex, which was pretty much the standard for all pilots at the time.

    As the argument continues to this day as to which was the first watch worn
    on the moon, I'll bet more than one astronaut has taken their own point and
    shoot camera with them on every space flight.
    Sheldon, Aug 7, 2007
  15. Rita Ä Berkowitz

    Neil H. Guest

    Because NASA only uses eBay-approved cameras.

    For you, of all people, to ask this . . . !

    Neil H., Aug 7, 2007
  16. Almost all do.

    The "space tourist", Greg Olsen, not only took a couple of P&S cameras
    with him to the ISS, but actually lost the better one while he was there
    and had to borrow a camera from one of the other astronauts on the
    station. It was a couple of weeks after he left the ISS before his own
    camera containing his "once in a lifetime holiday snaps" was found and
    sent back to him on a supply mission. None of the cameras he took were
    specially qualified, just the same as you or I would buy in your local
    high street shop - not even a quality photo shop.

    I know this because he told me himself.
    Kennedy McEwen, Aug 9, 2007
  17. Rita Ä Berkowitz

    Alan Browne Guest

    On the other hand he didn't do any space walks with them either. The
    whole point of the special lubricant is for hard vacuum of space.
    Alan Browne, Aug 9, 2007
  18. Rita Ä Berkowitz

    julkio Guest

    the reason for the bray cote lube is for an oxygen rich environment,
    bray cote is a oxygen compatible grease. the chances of an astronaut
    using a slr type camera on a space walk is slim to none
    julkio, Aug 9, 2007
  19. Looks to me like they think Nikon is the only vendor who has the capacity to
    build all the cameras in the same production lot with the appropriate
    lubricant. I am sure they want all the cameras from the same lot for quality
    assurance reasons.
    Thomas T. Veldhouse, Aug 10, 2007
  20. I am not sure that any consumer grade camera would do well with the radiation
    in space. The hard vacuum aside.
    Thomas T. Veldhouse, Aug 10, 2007
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