A Chinese tech company called Insta360 claims to be the first to send a 360-degree action camera into space. The firm released a captivating series of images showing Earth as never seen before.
These breathtaking pictures were snapped by cameras attached to a satellite launched 500 kilometers into outer space. The equipment blasted off on January 16, 2023 and is now orbiting the planet, capturing incredible 360-degree views of the stars, the Milky Way, and Earth.
Engineers identified three obstacles to overcome before sending the 360-action camera into space. The two Insta360 X2 cameras had to be modified to withstand extreme heat and cold, radiation, and the extreme shock and vibration of rocket launch.
The project began in July 2021. It took 12 months to modify the action cameras, including six months of research and development. The solar-powered satellite was initially scheduled to launch in 2022, but had to be postponed due to COVID-19.
One year later, Insta360 X2 was able to take off. The company worked with partners Media Storm and SAR satellite company Spacety to fulfill the mission.
“The project runs on hard work, but a fair bit of luck, too. Space can be unpredictable, and there is no backup hardware or software if the camera runs into any issues,” they write on their blog. “Luckily, both cameras and their sensors are still fully functioning and offer an incredible look at outer space. This is the first time ever a 360 action camera has reached space, breaking new ground for Insta360.”
South West News Service writer Dean Murray contributed to this report.