The first 360 degree cameras in space capture stunning images of Earth

Technique


The first 360-degree cameras sent into space have captured stunning, high-resolution images of Earth that have never been seen before.

Chinese technology company Insta360 recently revealed stunning images of the blue planet in the darkness of deep space, captured by its camera attached to satellites orbiting the Earth.

Insta360 launched satellites equipped with attached 360-degree action cameras about 310 miles into space on January 16 after starting the project in July 2021.

A view from the Insta360 360 degree camera attached to the satellite in outer space. Insta360/SWNS
Insta360, which captures high-definition images of the Earth, launched satellites equipped with 360-degree action cameras on January 16. Insta360/SWNS

The company worked with Media Storm and satellite company SAR Spacety to make the goal of sending cameras off-planet possible.

The camera company spent 12 months, including six months of research and development, modifying its retail cameras so they could withstand the intense environment in space. An initial launch date was set for 2022 but was delayed due to the pandemic until launching earlier this year.

The company said that Insta360 engineers conducted thousands of tests on the cameras, simulating the harsh conditions of space as best as they could.

The 360-degree Insta360 camera attached to the satellite shows a stunning angle of the Earth. Insta360/SWNS

They needed to ensure the technology could withstand extreme heat and cold, as the satellites were expected to pass between temperatures as low as -94 degrees Fahrenheit to 122 degrees Fahrenheit depending on location.

Engineers also tested whether the cameras were resistant to radiation and vibration, the latter of which will be more important during launch.

“The project is based on hard work, but with a fair amount of luck as well,” Insta360 said. “Space can be unpredictable, and there is no backup hardware or software if the camera runs into trouble. Fortunately, the cameras and their sensors are still fully functional and provide an amazing look at outer space.

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The satellites, which carry cameras around the planet, will operate every 90 minutes for two years, and are programmed to leave Earth’s orbit after that, during which time they will be burned up in space.






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