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07-12-2008, 12:41 PM   #1
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Pentax k10d in space

Took this shot yesterday with a k10d at over 104,000 ft altitude. The k10d performed flawlessly in the harsh vacuum of space at temperatures below-60F:



This one is a typical example, and I have many more if you are interested in seeing them. Out of over 300 images taken, only a couple are unuseable (go PENTAX!)
Note: More detail about the flight in post #13 below


Last edited by PentaxPoke; 07-12-2008 at 10:23 PM.
07-12-2008, 12:43 PM   #2
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go PENTAX!
07-12-2008, 12:52 PM   #3
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I noticed the EXIF is not attached from the Flickr site (since I posted the "large" size here, not original), so here it is if interested:

[Image]
Make = PENTAX Corporation
Model = PENTAX K10D

Software = PENTAX PHOTO Laboratory Ver. 3.51
Date Time = 2008-07-11 22:58:38

[Camera]
Exposure Time = 1/3000"
F Number = F4
Exposure Program = Shutter priority
ISO Speed Ratings = 100
Exif Version = Version 2.21
Date Time Original = 2008-07-11 10:36:14
Date Time Digitized = 2008-07-11 10:36:14
Components Configuration = YCbcr
Exposure Bias Value = ±0EV
Metering Mode = Pattern
Flash = Flash did not fire, compulsory flash mode
Focal Length = 18mm
Maker Note = 35997 Byte
Flashpix Version = Version 1.0
Color Space = sRGB
Exif Image Width = 3872
Exif Image Height = 2592
Interoperability IFD Pointer = Offset: 36656
Sensing Method = One-chip color area sensor
Custom Rendered = Normal process

Lens was the Pentax DA 18-55 II
07-12-2008, 12:56 PM   #4
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Just wondering, wil SR work in space?

07-12-2008, 01:13 PM   #5
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Fantastic shot!

Way to go, PentaxPoke!

I for sure wanna see more pics!

Radu
07-12-2008, 03:08 PM   #6
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But the sky belongs in the top of pictures.
07-12-2008, 03:37 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Mike Cash Quote
But the sky belongs in the top of pictures.
07-12-2008, 04:20 PM   #8
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awesome shot...but I do wonder, why were you in space??? o_O

07-12-2008, 05:17 PM   #9
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Tsk, tsk, tsk. It is amazing what people would do to pixel peep these days ;-)

Excellent shot. Post a link to your 300 other shots please. Thanks.

I wonder if you know Astronaut Jay Apt, I have seen his personal collection, it is just as nice as this one.
07-12-2008, 05:37 PM   #10
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Wow, talk about front row seat. Thanks for posting.
Gary
07-12-2008, 06:44 PM   #11
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Heck yeah. I was in space yesterday too, or thought I was after a bottle of cava and several whiskeys.

Care to give us some background on this shot?
07-12-2008, 06:48 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by PollitowuzHere Quote
awesome shot...but I do wonder, why were you in space??? o_O
I wonder too and wonder how you got there. Me, I've only been to "inner space".

Richard
07-12-2008, 08:57 PM   #13
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Thanks for the comments. I chose the k10d for the photographic payload system on an experiment by Oklahoma State University to measure cosmic radiation with a new sensor.

The payloads are attached to a sounding balloon which climbs to over 100,000 ft. The balloon is tracked with GPS telemetry systems. When the balloon is launched, it is about 12 ft. in diameter. At peak altitude it is between 40-50 ft. in diameter before burst (or commanded cut-down).

The results are a testament to the quality and ruggedness of the Pentax gear. The camera was exposed to the harshness of the space environment (essentially a vacuum, and below -60F temperatures) and it never missed a beat. The only protection for the camera was a foam box which really doesn't protect it from the pressure changes or cold (there were no heaters on board) The box primarily protects the camera on impact since the payloads hit the ground at about 22mph.

As I mentioned, the camera took well over 300 pictures. In fact, I went back and counted and the actual number is 563. All in PEF RAW format. The only ones that are unuseable are the ones after the camera landed. Since the camera and lens were so cold from the extreme altitude, condensation started forming on the lens shortly before landing. (It was a very humid day here since it rained the day before) The camera and lens were soaked with condensation, but kept happily fireing away with no problems other than you couldnt see through the water on the lens. By that point, there was nothing left to see.

Now as to exposure; the camera performed better than my wildest dreams. We put it in Tv mode at 1/3000 to freeze motion (since the ride is quite violent at times). Auto ISO, and multi-segment metering. Out of those hundreds of photos, there are maybe 5 or 6 that were overexposed when the camera was facing the sun. The biggest "problem" is that we have too many good photos!

We will eventually post all the photos, but we have to process them for the website (which is under construction). In the meantime, I posted some of the photos of the fight on my Flickr site. (Please excuse the single C@non shot on the site which was taken by a colleague while we were launching ) There are descriptions under each picture so you can follow the process. These are only a very small fraction, but you can at least follow the general process:
ASTRO-09 - a set on Flickr

Last edited by PentaxPoke; 07-12-2008 at 09:34 PM.
07-12-2008, 09:24 PM   #14
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holy crap. I just thought you were shooting a national geographic sitting on your coffee table......
07-12-2008, 09:39 PM   #15
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I am impressed...

I don't get that way very often.
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