IMAGE: Astronaut Bob Cabana
Bob Cabana seen here during the STS-88 mission with the F5 Camera.

New Space Walk Camera

NASA worked with Nikon to have the commercial F5 cameras modified for use in space. The only necessary modification was a lubrication change out. The thermal range that the cameras are expected to encounter during a spacewalk is between -50 C and 110 C. The lubrication was selected due to better performance during these temperature extremes.

Though the thermal analysis team worked to ensure that the camera would be kept within its thermal range, there is still a chance that the camera will reach a cold temperature beyond its limits. If this occurs the astronauts will not be able to take a picture until the camera is back within its thermal range. To prevent this from occurring it was determined that a "one hour flaps open flight rule" should be established.