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bucket 9 34 United Kingdom
15 Mar 2021 10:13PM
A hypothetical question.
How would a mirrorless camera perform in space? When the Americans went to the moon they took tremendously expensive Hasselblads with them encased in coverings. Digital cameras are essentially electronic with no moving parts other than focus, so could they go into space without protection?
chris.maddock 22 3.7k United Kingdom
16 Mar 2021 6:40AM
It's unlikely that consumer grade ones would survive long with no protection.
The main problem is the subatomic particles travelling at extremely high speeds, which will pass through just about anything. IIRC, the Space Station crew have to retreat to a highly protected compartment when there is high sun activity, and even when there isn't they frequently experience flashes in their eyes as these particles pass through them.
For electronic components, the risk is greater because it can take only one hit from one of these particles on a track within a semiconductor to render it useless. For a lot of equipment, they use earlier generation processors etc, despite them being less capable than the latest ones. because the gap between the tracks is greater giving a better chance of the particles passing through without hitting anything important.
keithh 19 25.8k 33 Wallis And Futuna
16 Mar 2021 12:17PM
They have though, used nearly every Nikon DSLR going on the space station and now the Sony A7s II, so would these have undergone any modifications?
chris.maddock 22 3.7k United Kingdom
17 Mar 2021 6:27AM

Quote:They have though, used nearly every Nikon DSLR going on the space station and now the Sony A7s II, so would these have undergone any modifications?

They might have put some hardening around them, or they could have just considered them consumables - if they break, so be it.
bucket 9 34 United Kingdom
17 Mar 2021 4:17PM
Thanks for the info. I would have thought, having read the comments, that the sub-atomic particles would destroy the SD cards or whatever recording medium is used, if there's no sheilding.
The obvious answer is that sheilding is definitely needed.
18 Mar 2021 8:59AM
I think you actually need to be a particle phycisist to understand the needs of anything in space. They have been taking pictures of space with the Hubble telescope for a great many years and the early travellers to the moon took cameras and sent back pictures of the earth from space. There are also sub atomic particles here on earth - some of which travel at tremendous speeds and go through anything in their way, a million times a second. The space station itself has to be protected from anything likely to damage the instruments inside so I think cameras will be perfectly safe if humans are.
18 Mar 2021 9:30AM
If you are interested in this phenomenon you may find this interesting reading.

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