Nikon: Z 9 in space

Several Nikon Z 9s have been in use on the International Space Station (ISS) since January. These are the first mirrorless Nikons to be used by the crew of the space station.

A total of 13 Z 9s with more than 15 NIKKOR Z lenses, including super telephoto and macro lenses, as well as 15 FTZ II adapters, are used by NASA astronauts to capture images of Earth and space. They were sent to the space lab as part of the 20th Northrop Grumman Commercial Resupply Services mission for NASA. The Cygnus cargo spacecraft, carried by the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, launched from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station on January 30, 2024.
Since the Apollo 15 mission more than 50 years ago, Nikon cameras and lenses have been used by NASA for space exploration on various missions and the space shuttles. In 2008, NASA received the D2XS digital SLR camera, and in 2013, 38 Nikon D4 digital SLR cameras and 64 NIKKOR lenses were delivered to the space station crew. The Z 9 replaces this inventory on the space station.The cameras used in the space lab are physically unchanged, but are used both inside the space station and in the vacuum of space in a special "blanket" developed by NASA.
Nikon engineers worked with NASA to develop customized firmware to better suit the astronauts and the space environment. This includes extending noise reduction to faster shutter speeds to account for the constant bombardment of cosmic rays that the crew and equipment are exposed to on the space station. Other changes have been made to the file name sequence and default settings and controls, which have been optimized for life aboard the space lab and in the protective shell for external missions. Changes have also been made to the camera's internal FTP and transfer protocol to simplify astronaut workflow, increase efficiency and reduce power consumption when sending images from space to Earth.