Science Channel and Canadian company UrtheCast (pronounced as “Earthcast”) are partnering on a lofty goal – to bring viewers at home the world’s first HD video of Earth, streamed in near-real time, from the International Space Station (ISS) as it orbits 200 miles above the planet.
The programming will be developed once UrtheCast’s HD cameras are installed on the space station, and streaming begins. The cameras, currently being built in partnership with Russian space organization RSC Energia and the UK’s Rutherford Appleton Laboratory (RAL), will go live in late 2013, according to the company, with the footage to be streamed to users’ smartphones and the web.
In addition to developing programming with that footage, Science Channel will also develop content surrounding the UrtheCast project, including a special program examining its history and technology.
The company was co-founded by space industry veterans Wade Larson and Dr. George Tyc, and has its head office in Vancouver.
“Our viewers expect us to have the best, most authoritative television programs about space,” said Debbie Adler Myers, executive vice president and general manager, Science Channel, in a statement. “UrtheCast helps us build on that promise, giving Science Channel the most stunning live images of Earth for use online and on-air.”
“The Science Channel speaks to a large audience of inquisitive minds; it’s precisely the type of audience that UrtheCast appeals to,” added Larson. “We’re looking forward to working with the Science Channel team, and can’t wait to see the programming it leads to.”