In a joint space odyssey between NASA, IMAX Corporation, and Warner Bros. Pictures, the innovative IMAX 3D camera is being prepared for a journey to the Hubble Space Telescope in 2008 to shoot a special 3D film, NASA announced here Monday.
A U.S. space shuttle will rendezvous with Hubble on the third day of Hubble servicing mission flight STS-125. Using the shuttle's mechanical arm, the telescope will be placed on a work platform in the cargo bay.
The IMAX 3D camera will accompany astronauts and film as they work on Hubble. Five separate space walks will be needed to accomplish all of the mission objectives.
During the 11 days of the servicing mission, the last scheduled trip to the telescope, the camera will capture footage for a production that will chronicle the telescope's life story. The film is set for release in early 2010 and marks Warner Bros. Pictures' first venture into space.
"We are thrilled that people from around the world will experience this vital servicing mission from a front-row seat," said NASA Deputy Administrator Shana Dale. "Audiences will be mesmerized as they are transported to the distant galaxies of the universe."
IMAX's long-standing partnership with NASA has enabled millions of people to travel into space through a series of award-winning films.
The IMAX 3D camera made its first space voyage in 2001 for the production of "Space Station 3D." That film took audiences on a virtual tour of the International Space Station.
"A decade ago we made a film that briefly touched on the subject of Hubble, but back then its first images were just coming in," said IMAX producer and director Toni Myers. "Today, we have Hubble's entire phenomenal legacy of data to explore. With IMAX 3D, we can transport people to galaxies that are literally 13 billion light years away. Real star travel is here at last."
The Hubble telescope, which was launched into space on April 24, 1990, is an international cooperative project between NASA and the European Space Agency.