The flight model of the medium resolution camera, RAL Cam 3, to be installed on the International Space Station

( -- UrtheCast, a Canadian-based company, has announced a new project with a global scale, literally. The system will allow those of us who have not actually been in to space to see the earth from space. A set of cameras are going to be mounted on the International Space Station, and pointed back towards earth to show both still shots and videos of the planet Earth. The goal of the project is to create an Internet-based video streaming platform that will show the footage taken in near real time high definition video.

UrtheCast, which is pronounced Earth-cast and not in any other of the amusing ways that this name could be said, will be using two cameras that are based on the steerable platform in the Russian module of the . The system will use two different cameras. The first is a model capable of capturing video at a resolution comparable to that of Google Earth and a rate of 3.25 .

The second camera has a medium resolution, and will be designed to take still images with a wider pan, at 45 km-wide stretches of the earth’s surface. The cameras will be built by British Rutherford Appleton Laboratories and will broadcast uncompressed video stream to servers around the world. The video will then be able to be manipulated by the company and allow users to interact with the video, by methods such as clipping, rewinding, and zooming

The cameras are expected to launch sometime later this year and the project will go live in the Northern Hemisphere in the spring of 2012.

More information: