07.11.2005 08:00 AM
HDNet to cover Discovery launch

HDNet will use up to 14 HD cameras stationed around the Kennedy Space Center to chronicle NASA’s return to flight for the Space Shuttle program as Discovery and its seven-member crew blast into orbit July 13.

HDNet’s HD coverage of mission STS-114 will include behind-the-scenes preparations, countdown, launch and liftoff through the far reaches of the atmosphere. HDNet's cameras will also be live on location for the shuttle's landing, scheduled for July 25.

As it has done with other major news events, HDNet will deliver live, raw coverage uninterrupted by outside commentary. The network will broadcast the natural sounds of the launch complemented by NASA's commentary.

The complex task of producing a live, multi-camera, switched HD telecast of a historic event such as this requires extensive equipment and technical support. HDNet is installing 1080i cameras in various locations ranging from inside the firing room where engineers and administrators direct the countdown, to right on the launching pad itself. Close-up views of the exterior of the shuttle and of the astronauts once they are inside the crew module will appear courtesy of several NASA cameras.

HDNet will deploy a special Canon DIGI SUPER 86 TELExs lens capable of a 2322mm focal length to enable a 1080i camera situated at one of the tracking sites to follow Discovery at least 176,000ft, or 33 miles, into earth's atmosphere. The network is also using a pan-and-tilt robotic head at the launch pad from Eagle Pan Tilt and is installing the Thomson Grass Valley brand Kalypso HD Video Production Center switcher, which is switchable between SD and HD productions inside NASA's TV control room.

For more information, visit www.hd.net/news.html.

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