Nikon SLR-type digital cameras

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Nikon Photomic FTn special NASA Appolo 15, 1975

When the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) wanted a more portable camera for its space missions, it went to Nikon. The challenges of producing a camera that worked safely and conveniently for astronauts in space are many, including having controls that are large enough to operate for astronauts wearing bulky gloves. The camera must also be able to function flawlessly in zero gravity situations, in the vacuum of space, and while being roasted by the intensely hot rays of the Sun in outer space.
(Unknown Specifications)

Nikon F3 Nasa

Nikon F3 Nasa with back

Nikon F3, F4 and F5 NASA

After the Nikon issued from the Photomic FTn, some others special cameras were developed for the NASA by Nikon from the basis of F3 and F4 bodies. The Nikon F3 was developed for a large part from the NASA specifications.
To day, the standard cameras sold for public as the Nikon F5 have in standard all the specifications required for space missions and do not require body modification. They just need special preparation from Nikon.

Nikon F4 Nasa

Space walking with a Nikon F3

Nikon DSLRs for Nasa

New-York viewed from space

Atlantis space shuttle

Nikon D4 DSLR at International Space Station

NASA ordered its first digital cameras in 2008 for use in space:
- a set of six Nikon D2XS DSLRs, followed by Nikon D3, 11 D3S in 2009, D3x cameras and flashs used until final flight of space shuttle Atlantis the 21th of July 2011.
- 48 Nikon D4 DSLRs from 2013 to 2016 and 53 Nikon SLR D5 from November 2017.
NASA is reusing Nikon lenses and accessories previously launch with the Nikon D4 and D2Xs cameras and planning to keep the D5 cameras in circulation for 12-18 months.



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Created February 8th 1998, Updated November 15th 2017
© Pierre J.