Nikon India Pvt. Ltd. has launched the Nikon Z 9 camera into space, which is headed to the International Space Station (ISS). This marks the first time a Nikon mirrorless camera will be used by astronauts on the space station.
Multiple Nikon Z 9 bodies, accompanied by a range of NIKKOR Z lenses, were taken into space on the 20th Northrop Grumman commercial resupply services mission for NASA.
The Nikon Z 9 mirrorless camera is replacing the existing Nikon D6 and D5 digital SLR cameras on the ISS. Nikon has a history of over 50 years in space exploration, with Nikon cameras and lenses playing important roles in numerous NASA missions. Since 1999, Nikon equipment has been integral to scientific research, maintenance tasks, and capturing imagery both inside and outside the space station.
The Nikon Z series, introduced in 2018, is known for its robust construction, reliability, and next-generation features. The Z 9 is Nikon’s flagship full-frame mirrorless camera, and it eliminates a physical shutter, enhancing durability and reliability even in extreme environments.
While the Nikon Z 9 used in space is physically identical to its terrestrial counterpart, Nikon engineers worked closely with NASA to develop custom firmware tailored to the unique challenges of space exploration. This specialized firmware enhances noise reduction at faster shutter speeds to counter cosmic radiation exposure, optimizes file naming sequences, and streamlines workflow protocols for efficient image transfer from space to Earth.
The successful integration of the Nikon Z 9 into the ISS operations highlights Nikon’s dedication to pushing the boundaries of photographic technology and its adaptability to the rigors of space exploration. This historic milestone not only showcases Nikon’s prowess in camera innovation but also reaffirms its commitment to supporting human endeavors beyond the confines of Earth’s atmosphere.