WATCH THIS: 4K NASA videos show amazingly detailed space experiments

The International Space Station has just received a substantial camera upgrade, and footage shot with the new setup is beginning to trickle onto YouTube. The station’s new RED Dragon Camera can shoot video in 6K, and while the first videos are capped at 4K, the results are pretty impressive – not only the streaming quality, but the content too.

Ever wanted to witness an antacid tablet dissolve in a floating ball of water? Although you’ve probably never considered it, the answer is: yes, you do.

If your screen can display 4K, be sure to press the little cog in the bottom right-hand corner, and pump up the detail as high as it will go. The video is impressive at all resolutions, but the level of detail at 4K is astonishing.

“This is a huge leap in camera technology for spaceflight,” said Rodney Grubbs, program manager for NASA’s Imagery Experts Program. “These cameras have large sensors, capable of very high-resolution imaging at high frame rates. It’s like having a high-speed 35mm motion-picture film camera, but it’s compact, it can use lenses we already have up there, and it’s digital.”


Those high frame rates are especially useful for slow-motion recording. A max of 300 frames per second means that extremely fast-moving action such as docking procedures can be captured with total clarity.

If you want to see more of the ISS in this detail, an second video offers a greater insight into life on the space station.

The new RED camera system is the same model used to record The Hobbit trilogy, so in terms of viewing figures, NASA’s videos have some catching up to do. They’re off to a very strong start, however.

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