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Nikon and NASA are putting a mirrorless camera on the Moon

ESA astronaut Thomas Pesquet documents field exploration in the lunar-like landscapes of Lanzarote, Spain.
Astronauts like the ESA’s Thomas Pesquet (pictured) have been field testing the HULC during various training programs. | Image: ESA

Nikon is working with NASA to make a mirrorless camera that astronauts will use during the agency’s incoming Artemis III mission to document their return to the Moon. On Thursday, NASA announced that it had entered a Space Act agreement with Nikon to develop the Handheld Universal Lunar Camera (HULC), a camera system designed to capture imagery in low light and survive the harsh lunar environment.

The crewed Artemis III mission — which will launch “no earlier than September 2026” — aims to explore the lunar south pole, a region of the Moon that contains water ice within permanently shadowed craters. That makes it an area of scientific interest, but the extreme lighting and temperature conditions pose particular technical challenges for…

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