Intelligent Machines

NASA's New Cameras: A Photo Essay

Discovery shuttle astronauts tested new technologies while orbiting 400 kilometers above Earth.

One of the primary missions of NASA’s most recent spaceflight, the space shuttle Discovery’s July trip to the International Space Station, was to test new safety technologies. While the ­shuttle orbited 300 to 400 kilometers above Earth, astronauts tried out new cameras designed to detect damage that the ­shuttle’s ­protective tiles might sustain during the trauma of leaving Earth’s ­atmosphere. Two astronauts inched out to the end of the ­shuttle’s 100-foot robotic arm and boom to test their stability as a tile ­repair platform. Astronauts inside the shuttle and in the space station photographed the project through their windows.

Click here for the photo essay.

Uh oh–you've read all five of your free articles for this month.

Insider Premium

$179.95/yr US PRICE

More from Intelligent Machines

Artificial intelligence and robots are transforming how we work and live.

Want more award-winning journalism? Subscribe to Insider Premium.

  • Insider Premium {! insider.prices.premium !}*

    {! insider.display.menuOptionsLabel !}

    Our award winning magazine, unlimited access to our story archive, special discounts to MIT Technology Review Events, and exclusive content.

    See details+

    What's Included

    Bimonthly home delivery and unlimited 24/7 access to MIT Technology Review’s website.

    The Download. Our daily newsletter of what's important in technology and innovation.

    Access to the Magazine archive. Over 24,000 articles going back to 1899 at your fingertips.

    Special Discounts to select partner offerings

    Discount to MIT Technology Review events

    Ad-free web experience

    First Look. Exclusive early access to stories.

    Insider Conversations. Join in and ask questions as our editors talk to innovators from around the world.

You've read of free articles this month.