NanoAvionics have sent a GoPro Hero 7 mounted on a selfie stick to take the first ever 4K resolution satellite selfie. The shot was taken 550km above the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea – the only living structure visible from space.
The MP42 micro-satellite took a series of 12-megapixel photos and 4K video clips using a GoPro Hero 7. Despite being released in 2018, the quality is pretty impressive. Not only was the GoPro able to capture some stunning photos, but it also gave NanoAvionics a chance to test out its new payload controller which is designed to optimize downlink for applications that require onboard processing of huge data packages.
Co-founder and CEO of NanoAvionics, Vytenis J Buyaz said, “The reason for taking the photo and video clip with the Great Barrier Reef in the background was partly symbolic. We wanted to highlight the vulnerability of our planet and the importance of Earth observation by satellites, especially for monitoring environment and climate changes.” He continued to explain that while millions gather to watch rocket launches, no one really thinks about how satellites move around the globe and provide means of communications. By sending the GoPro out to record this selfie it gives people an idea of how they move.
“Photos and videos of satellites circling our planet could draw more attention and help more people and organizations to realize the societal, economic, educational and environmental benefits that satellites provide,” Buzas said.
While consumer cameras are not usually used in space missions, NanoAvioncs wanted to use a camera that was cost-effective and wouldn’t take months to develop. They opted for the GoPro but stripped it down to its bare bones before fitting it into a custom-made selfie stick. Really it looks nothing like a GoPro or one of the best action cameras but the heart of it is in there.