• Question: How much time does it take to design and build the cameras?

    Asked by Ewan_George_Rory to Tom on 13 Oct 2015.
    • Photo: Tom Morse

      Tom Morse answered on 13 Oct 2015:

      Hi Ewan George Rory,

      It usually takes a few years. First of all we have to talk to the customers (often scientists) to work out what they really want from the cameras. We then have to do a lot of research and development into ideas for the new features that the customer requires, before building and testing some prototypes. We then review those with the customer to make sure that they’re happy and know how to operate the prototypes, so that they can get on with planning their science projects whils we build the actual flight cameras. We then thoroughly test those (in vacuum, over temperature, in radiation environments and under vibration) before passing the camera to the customer. They then integrate it with the rest of the spacecraft and perform all that testing again. It’s a long process but worth it to see the results!

      Thanks for the question,