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4000 Pounds Never Meant So Much

The IMAX 4000 lbs. camera has to be specially placed in the shuttle to accommodate it's very heavy weight and achieve a delicate balance of flight needed for a successful launch. The balance also had to be achieved in the public and private cooperation between NASA and IMAX Corporation.
by Bradley Bartz
Los Angeles CA (SPX) Jan 27, 2010
The most amazing thing to come out of NASA has been the images from the Hubble Space Telescope. At least to this pair of eyes that were electrified with IMAX's presentation of the "final" Hubble repair mission in Los Angeles this week.

We all know 3D makes movies fun, but with the IMAX wrap around the experience truly becomes touchy feely. The Earth in the background while two white spacesuited astronauts glide in to repair the telescope felt like music.

The movements were beyond slow, as the gleaming Hubble Telescope with its lens closed and solar panels pointing to earth was gently moved.

Gold seems to be the primary color of Hubble, I'm not sure why I would think it would look different, but the gold brought a luxury to the IMAX screen.

That luxury was surely enjoyed by the Greg Foster the President of IMAX as he gave his impromptu speech about the movie, and it was this quote that stuck with me.

"IMAX is the personification of Hubble". At that moment the room could feel Foster's true love of space and the story it brings.

Mr. Foster continued to almost apologize for IMAX being used for such trashy things as Hollywood movies, but then affirmed that the riches of Hollywood were continuing to fund IMAX's documentary style and vision.

This IMAX movie featuring Hubble is a must see for everyone. There is no doubt that the non-fictional impact of the Hubble will confirm the power and magic of space.

Luckily Mr. Foster stuck around after the IMAX screening to answer some interesting questions about NASA cooperation and from the 4,000 pound answer to the weight of the specialty IMAX 3D camera used for the Hubble mission.

The technician behind the IMAX technology was running the projector and mumbled that the weight included the nitrogen cooling system.

Mr. Foster went on to say that the contents of the IMAX camera were "certified" by NASA and that no one could touch it once it was all in place on Space Shuttle Atlantis, which conducted the "final" Hubble servicing mission last May.

The IMAX 4000 pound (1800 kg) camera has to be specially placed in the shuttle to accommodate its hefty weight and be balanced just right for its launch into orbit

A balance also had to be achieved in the public and private cooperation between NASA and IMAX Corporation. Mr Foster explained that NASA provided 100% of all footage with no censorship.

This is a great vote for the public domain value of NASA content for use by private companies. IMAX shows that already spent taxpayer dollars can be further leveraged by private companies to make money.

Meanwhile, Hubble continues it mission looking outwards rather than inwards - as its billion dollar sister Keyhole satellites do as sentinels of our insecurities rather than the endless hope that is space.

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