BEAM in high-res

 The Bigelow Aerospace Activity Module as seen from the exterior of the station. Photo Credit: NASA

The Bigelow Aerospace Activity Module as seen from the exterior of the station. Photo Credit: NASA

With the installation of a high definition camera during the U.S. spacewalk earlier this month, the exterior of the International Space Station can now show images and video in high resolution.

That includes the docking or berthing of visiting vehicles such as Progress, Soyuz, HTV, Cygnus or Dragon. But it can also mean really neat, clear pictures of the structure of the orbiting outpost.

In this case, NASA released a really neat high-resolution picture of the Bigelow Aerospace Activity Module better known as BEAM  from an angle that wasn't from a window on the ISS.

The camera was installed Sept. 2 during EVA-37. Astronaut Jeff Williams rode the end of the robotic Canadarm2 to the work area just below the port end of the P1 truss segment where an antenna with standard cameras and a light already were.

The HD camera was added along side the standard definition camera. While Williams was there, he swapped out a light bulb.

In the coming months and years, it is safe to say more HD video from the exterior of the station will be seen. This is something that has been lacking (as it hasn't been a high priority) since the end of the space shuttle era.

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Derek Richardson

I am a space geek who loves to write about space.

My passion for space ignited when I watched space shuttle Discovery leap to space on October 29, 1998. Today, this fervor has accelerated toward orbit and shows no signs of slowing down. After dabbling in math and engineering courses in college, I soon realized that my true calling was communicating to others about space exploration and spreading that passion.

Currently, I am a senior at Washburn University studying Mass Media with an emphasis in contemporary journalism. In addition to running Orbital Velocity, I write for the Washburn Review and am the Managing Editor for SpaceFlight Insider.