Sony is about to launch a very special project that will, for the first time, allow people around the world to take their own photos and videos of the Earth and celestial objects from Earth orbit. The project, christened "Star Sphere", uses a dedicated nanosatellite with a Sony full-frame camera - which one it is, Sony has not yet revealed - with a 28-135mm f/4 lens on board, which can be operated by users in real time to take their own photos from a self-selected angle and then also download them - just as if you had taken these photos yourself from space as an astronaut on board the International Space Station. This is also intended to evoke a sense of the very special comprehensive perspective on the small sphere of Earth from space, which many astronauts have experienced as extremely impressive and life-changing.
Sony Star Sphere Nanosatellite
Measuring just 10 × 22.63 × 34.05 cm, the Star Sphere nanosatellite will orbit the Earth between 500 and 600 kilometers, allowing people to take photos or videos in real time based on the live view along its trajectory - it can also change camera settings such as ISO, aperture and shutter speed. A specially developed shooting simulator shows users beforehand where the satellite is currently located above the Earth and on which orbit it is moving. To get a perfect shot, the simulator allows users to try out the camera&s angle of view and different camera settings in advance, and also to plan camera movements and reserve shooting sessions. Not only can shots be taken of various locations on Earth by day and by night, but also images of the Sun, Moon and other celestial bodies.
Star Sphere offers two different services - a simple "guided" tour and one with full control for the user. The first is the so-called "Space Photography Tour", where users can experience satellite orbits recommended by selected presenters, complete with special camera positions, in a "tour" format and then take their own exclusive photo. A "space tour" in the simulator is offered as a set along with explanations of the highlights and the tour concept. The basic satellite functions necessary to take the picture, such as setting the orbit and orienting the camera, will be taken by the presenters.
Sony Star Sphere Simulator
Sony Star Sphere Simulator
As part of the "Premium Photography/Videography Experience", these settings can all be fully controlled by yourself. Users can exclusively book one of 16 possible 90-minute satellite orbits and operate the satellite and camera for 10 minutes, i.e. they can press the shutter button in real time to capture a specific subject they are aiming for, but also basic satellite functions that are required for the recordings , such as B. the setting of the orbit and the camera work, even meet.
Which 10 minutes within these 90 minutes are used for the recordings is up to the user. Multiple photos or a few seconds of video can be downloaded after this capture window - the default is 50 photos or 30 seconds of video - but the number of downloadable photos or video length can be increased at an additional cost (price for this option is yet to be determined) .