At exactly 05.52 UTC on September 21 2014, SpaceX launched CRS-4, an unmanned commercial resupply services flight from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida. Travelling to the International Space Station (ISS), CRS-4 carried not only crew supplies, cargo and the ISS-RapidScat, a replacement for NASA's QuikSCAT earth satellite, used to monitor ocean winds for climate research, weather predictions and hurricane monitoring, but also a CODEX 4K recording system.
Paired with a Canon Cinema EOS C500 camera, the CODEX recording system was used by the astronauts onboard the ISS to capture a set of pre-determined shots at 4K resolution for the IMAX production, A Beautiful Planet.
It seemed unimaginable, but by January 8th 2015 the CODEX Onboard S Recorder and the Canon camera had travelled more than 45,256,000 miles aboard the ISS. Capture Drives with raw footage from the shoot returned to earth via the SpaceX Dragon, the first commercial spacecraft to deliver cargo to the ISS, then the only cargo spacecraft capable of safely returning significant amounts of cargo back to Earth.
"...IT BECAME CLEAR THAT CODEX IS A ROCK-SOLID PLATFORM AND WORKFLOW, BACKED BY WORLD-CLASS SUPPORT"
Before the launch, the CODEX Onboard S Recorder was put through several months of rigorous testing, including radiation testing by a team of engineers at NASA, cinematographer James Neihouse, ASC, and IMAX. CODEX worked closely with all parties to ensure that the recording system was bulletproof and ﬁt for space travel.
James has worked on many IMAX movies, including several space-themed ones such as Hubble 3D, Space Station 3D and Mission To Mir. Although different recording systems were evaluated, he commented, “Along with its ability to capture all the required frame rates at 4K from the Canon EOS C500, it became clear that CODEX is a rock-solid platform and workflow, backed by world-class support. It was the obvious choice for this project.”
Several astronauts during their stints on the ISS, shot footage for this movie, including Scott Kelly, pictured here with James Neihouse, who spent a year aboard the ISS starting in Spring 2015. With years of experience in space, Scott was at that time the International Space Station operations branch chief and has previously served as commander of the station in 2010/2011.