NASA flew this IMAX camera on twelve space shuttle missions in the 1980s and 1990s so astronauts could capture film footage for five IMAX productions. The first of these, The Dream Is Alive (1985), still ranks as the most popular of all IMAX feature films. Four of the films were co-sponsored by IMAX, NASA, the National Air and Space Museum, and Lockheed Martin. By carefully training the astronauts not only to operate the camera but also to act as cinematographers to capture both the thrilling and ordinary activities in orbit, IMAX produced films that virtually put the audience inside and outside the shuttle.
The camera was modified for use in space with Velcro, bumpers, and other adjustments for easier operation by astronauts in the zero-g environment. When assembled, the bulky camera required careful orchestration to operate for filming in the small volume of the space shuttle crew cabin. Instructions for loading film are on the inside lid of the camera.
Gift of the IMAX Corporation in 2011.