Modified Nikon N90S
This camera boarded the Shuttle Discovery for Mission STS-102 on March 8th, 2001. This was a supply mission to the International Space Station. The camera was part of the Station's payload and would serve to photograph earth during Expeditions ISS002 and ISS003. The camera then remained on the Space Station until the middle of December of that year, before finally returning to earth on December 17th, 2001, aboard Shuttle Endeavour's mission STS-108
the "Class III Not for Flight' decal applied to the grip. When an
item returns from a mission, NASA inspects the equipment thoroughly. During
this inspection they would looks for points of failure and either address
them or decommission the equipment.
The second decal that appears on the front indicates that this particular model was a Colour Digital camera. There were other versions that NASA used including a monochrome and an infrared model.
Two other decals appear on the front. The first is an ISS PLD decal to denote this was International Space Station payload, and therefore was likely not used while it was on the Space Shuttle enroute to or from the Space Station.
The large decal is the Johnson Space Center's inventory tag. This tag carries various information regarding the item so it can be catalogued correctly in NASA's Functional Equipment History Log.
blue velcro patches are applied by NASA to equipment that is used in zero
gravity. This enables pieces to be held in place when not being used,
and prevents them from floating around inside the shuttle or space station.
Note the image above showing the top of the camera body. Instructions to the astronauts have been painted on the side of the finder to remind them to adjust the exposure compensator on the camera (denoted with the plus/minus sign) to "-1.3" when they take photographs with a flash unit. Little 'cheat sheet' decals and instructions like this are common on the space cameras.
The rear of the camera features a number of NASA decals, with some of them being 'cheat sheet' reminders. Although Astronauts were given fairly extensive training in the photographic equipment at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, TX it was no doubt very helpful to have these additional aids.
Connections on the rear of the digital back were for attaching various equipment, such as intervalometers and for downloading directly through a SCSI cable to a computer while on the Station.
NASA's photographic equipment that had metal casings would usually have the NASA part number (SEDxxxxxxx-xxx) engraved, however parts that were softer (such as plastics or wires), would usually have decals with the part and NASA serial numbers
The camera has its Part Number decal on the rear. The camera is prefixed ESC to denote (Electronic Still Camera)
on the side would store the camera's Hard Drive. This was before the days
of the memory card, so the camera hard drive was considerably larger.
number on this camera is 460-2274. This serial number can be tagged back
to the Metafile from the actual digital images produced by this camera.
Scrolling down the page, look for the VIEW CAMERA FILE button and click it to see the metafile tagged to the image
Note the matching serial number.
label from NASA's inventory is still adhered to the lens. I have kept
it in place for context. Not sure if it adds value or not.
also has an ORG and FSC notation, however I was unable to identify what
particular lens, a wide angle, is a plastic barrel and as such, the NASA
identification part number and serial number are on a black label affixed
to the lens itself. This particular lens' decal is hidden beneath the
Johnson Space Center inventory tag
Here are some additional photos taken with this camera:
Interesting clouds and storms
Cloud formations over Kazakhstan
Station's Solar Array with Earth behind
CLICK HERE for the NASA Nikon Serial Number Database; a never ending work in progress to record all the film-based and early digital Nikon gear used in the Gemini, Apollo and Shuttle eras and the early days of the International Space Station
CLICK HERE to learn about the NASA Modified Nikon F with Motor Drive
CLICK HERE to learn about my NASA F3 Small Camera that flew on the maiden voyage of Shuttle Endeavour
CLICK HERE to learn about my NASA F3 Small Camera that flew on three different Shuttles
CLICK HERE to learn about my NASA DCS460C Digital Camera used on the 1st and 2nd expeditions at the International Space Station. This one captured shots of the Space Shuttle above earth and even shots of the Space Station itself from the Soyuz Russian spacecraft
Research and Photo Credits: