Japan’s space agency JAXA has announced it will be working with Japan Broadcasting Corporation (NHK) to develop a “Super Hi-Vision Camera” that is capable of filming in 4K and 8K for JAXA’s Martian Moons eXploration (MMX) mission, slated to launch in 2024. This will the first time in history that 8K ultra high definition images of Mars and its moons are taken in proximity.
JAXA’s MMX mission aims to explore the origins of Martian moons and the evolutionary process of Mars. It will be a sample-return mission to collect “sand” from Martian moon Phobos, as well as to observe Mars and its other moon, Deimos.
The “Super Hi-Vision Camera” will take images at regular intervals, which will be partially transmitted to Earth to create a smooth image. The original image data will be stored in a recording device in MMX’s return capsule and brought back to Earth. The images and flight data will be combined and made public.
Over the years, JAXA and NHK have collaborated on space-based cameras, beginning with live broadcasting from the Space Shuttle in 1992. This was followed by high-definition filming from the Kaguya lunar orbiter (also known as SELENE) in 2007, 4K filming from the International Space Station (ISS), and the filming of the asteroid probe Hayabusa-2 landing operation.