Thursday, April 3, 2014

URTHECAST Up and Running

When you speak to astronauts, they all say that going to space fundamentally changes them. They see how small the globe is, with no borders between countries, and they all come back with a greater sense of connectedness, and a renewed appreciation of our responsibility to protect the planet. Our goal at UrtheCast is to recreate that astronaut experience, in Ultra HD, and stream it across the web. Releasing this image is just the start of that democratization.

UrtheCast is a Vancouver-based Canadian company that will distribute the operational software for the first publicly accessible high definition cameras installed on the International Space Station. The company went public on the Toronto Stock Exchange in June 2013.

The camera systems to be operated by UrtheCast are part of an international project involving several nations, primarily Russia through the Russian Space Agency, (I hope we can get over ourselves with this sanction crap) Canada and the United Kingdom. The UrtheCast service will be accessible online and will allow users to access the two UrtheCast cameras from their homes to examine places or events. One medium resolution and one high-resolution camera have been built by the British Rutherford Appleton Laboratory (RAL). The resolution on the ground is given as 5 m for medium resolution and 1 m for high resolution. 

Press Release:

VANCOUVER, April 3, 2014  UrtheCast Corp. (TSX:UR) (“UrtheCast” or the “Company”) is extremely pleased to announce its first release of Earth imagery, captured by UrtheCast’s medium-resolution camera (MRC) onboard the International Space Station (ISS). 

“This is a pivotal moment for the company and for everyone who’s been a part of the vision that we set in motion in 2010,” stated UrtheCast Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer, Scott Larson. “Our team has been working extremely hard to make certain that we reach this goal of democratizing a very powerful perspective on the world. We couldn't be more grateful to the incredibly determined engineering teams at UrtheCast, RSC Energia, and Rutherford Appleton Laboratories.” 

Captured on March 28, 2014, at 1pm GMT, this image is centered around the city of Moneague, Jamaica, and has a 6-meter GSD (Ground Sampling Distance). The photo is approximately 3200 x 8000 pixels, and covers approximately 300 square kilometers. The MRC is a multispectral, nadir-pointing imager that captures 6-meter class, 50-km wide swaths of still imagery, which will be made commercially available on the UrtheCast platform. While the images will be made available on an individual basis, they will also be processed and constantly streamed to the UrtheCast platform. This will be realized on the interactive platform as a near real-time flyover view of the planet directly below the ISS as it orbits the globe 16 times every day. 

It's so true what the astronauts' say when looking down on Earth from the ISS that you do come away with another perspective of our home and the inhabitants. 

So this is one way to get away from all the indifference going on the ground and let's remember what helped build this platform in which we all took part, one of the greatest Birds ever The Space Shuttle and how she brought the world together. Unlike today where sanctions and war drums are pulling us apart.

To the so called masters, leaders and or rulers, nobody owns anything, we're lucky she allows us to dwell here, snap out of it!  All you cupcakes need to go up on the Station, look out the window and find out you're no more significant than a Tree Frog.


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