Model, Sensor, Large Format Camera

Display Status:

This object is not on display at the National Air and Space Museum. It is either on loan or in storage.

Collection Item Summary:

The Large Format Camera (LFC) flew on a Space Shuttle mission in 1984, photographing large swaths of the Earth's surface.

Originally developed for use in high-altitude aircraft, the camera took its name from its large format film (23 x 46 cm). This film size, in combination with the camera's special optics, allowed the LFC to capture in a single frame more than 60,000 square kilometers (23,400 square miles) with enough resolution to distinguish buildings and roads. The images helped in creating precise, detailed maps and aided in geological analysis, environmental monitoring, and urban planning.

The museum's artifact is a model of the camera and associated electronics, but includes real optics, which can be seen through a cutaway. ITEK Corporation donated the model to the Museum in 1985.