| CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla.
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. Jan 27 A pair of Russian
cosmonauts floated outside the International Space Station on
Monday in a second attempt to set up cameras for a Canadian
space video venture.
Station commander Oleg Kotov and flight engineer Sergey
Ryazanskiy initially installed a telescope video camera and a
medium-resolution still imager for Vancouver-based UrtheCast
Corp during a December 27 spacewalk.
However, cabling issues prevented ground control teams from
verifying if the imagers were receiving power, so Kotov and
Ryazanskiy brought both back inside the station so ground
control teams could try to resolve the problem.
On Monday, the spacewalkers tried again, this time with
mixed results, in a live broadcast on NASA Television. The
high-resolution video camera, which was mounted onto a swiveling
platform, was transmitting signals as expected. The still imager
Flight directors at the Russian mission control center
outside Moscow told the crew there would be no more spacewalks
to work with the cameras, a translator said during the
"Well, at least one of them is working, and that's a big
deal," one of the cosmonauts said, according to the translator.
Troubleshooting to resolve the problem with the second
camera will continue, said NASA commentator Rob Navias.
UrtheCast - pronounced "Earthcast" - designed the
medium-resolution still camera to capture and transmit images of
the ground as the station flies about 260 miles (420 km)
overhead. The sharper-eyed video camera can be pointed to pick
up objects and features as small as 3.3 feet (1 meter) across.
UrtheCast intends to sell data to companies and government
agencies that buy Earth-observing satellite imagery. It also
plans to stream images over the Internet for free to
subscribers, with the aim of attracting advertisers and
sponsors. It has not yet set pricing, company Chief Executive
Scott Larson said in a telephone interview.
The Russian space agency, Roscosmos, agreed to host the
cameras on the station, a $100 billion project of 15 nations,
in exchange for rights to use images and video taken over Russia
for natural resources management, agriculture and other uses,
UrtheCast has commercial rights to images and video of the
rest of the world.
The agreement runs through 2021 and is likely to be extended
through the life of the station, Larson said.
The cameras, which are designed to last at least 10 years,
cost a combined $17 million, he added.
UrtheCast plans to begin commercial operations in mid-2014.
It is not yet known what impact, if any, the problems with the
medium-resolution imager will have on the company's business