This is a kinda cool thing you can check out from Canon — though it would be cooler if it actually worked in real-time. If you’re unaware, Canon has its own satellite in orbit called the CE-SAT-1. Inside is a Canon 5D Mark III connected to a 40cm (15in) Cassegrain telescope, which gives it the ability to resolve down to 32-inches on the ground, over a space about 5x3km in size.
And you can access this satellite via the internet, though sadly not in real-time — though that would be awfully impressive. The company has made CE-SAT-1, and the details surrounding it, available online, where you can take ‘images’ from the satellite.
Making it Canon
But, because it’s not in real-time, you’re not going to see be able to snap what’s going on right this second. Instead, there are a handful of famous (and picturesque) locations, as seen by Canon’s orbiting space hardware, for you to snap images of. Venice, the Bahamas, Dubai, Japan and others are available for shooting — all of which are located at roughly the same latitude.
We’re not sure if Canon didn’t make the satellite available live because it was technically unfeasible or if it’s because the orbiting camera hardware flies over a substantial amount of less-attractive terrain (like kilometres and kilometres of the ocean) but it’s still an interesting thing to check out. It also leaves the door option to proper access to orbiting cameras at some point in the future.
The company’s website includes an interactive demo, narrated by astronaut Marsha Ivins, that shows off what the satellite was designed for and what it is capable of. Because, apparently, it is looking to make microsatellites a much larger part of its business by the end of the decade. Its second attempt, the CE-SAT-1B, was unfortunately destroyed in flight when one of Rocket Lab’s Electron rockets exploded before reaching orbit last year.