Space Image

Sony Announces Star Sphere A Space Camera You Can Control

Introducing Star Sphere a LEO satellite camera that you can operate from home!

  • More details coming soon...
Zac Aubert

Zac Aubert

Fri Jan 06 2023Written by Zac Aubert

Introducing Star Sphere a LEO satellite that you can operate from home!

What is Star Sphere?

Sony's Star Sphere Inspiration Project aims to be the world first satellite that "anyone can freely operate and use to take pictures" from space. Star Sphere will offer 2 different services.

Space Photography Tour

The first service Sony will be offering in 2023 is their Space Photography Tour.

Using Sony's yet to be released online platform Sony Members and Special Guests will be able to take a "space tour" to see upcoming orbits. There they will be able to schedule photos to be taken at a specific point during the real satellites orbit. Users will be able to adjust the satellites angle, pitch, and zoom in the simulator and then click reserve photo. The "booking" will then be transmitted to the satellite and when it passes over the set location its will have pre adjusted its camera and take the photo. The photo will then be sent back to Sony and then sent to the user.

This service give users the opportunity to experience space photography on their schedule by pre programming a photo they want. ie. Picture of their city, favorite National Park..etc

Premium Space Photography/Videography Experience

The second service Sony will be rolling out is there Space Photography/Videography Experience.

This experience will lets users reserve an approximately 90 minute orbital session (1 full orbit) of the satellite. During this time they will be able to take all the photos and videos they want.

Users will be able to reserve their session, based on there own required parameters including shooting date, target subject, and camera settings. In the 90 minute session, users will only operate the satellite for about 10 minutes, in which time the satellite will be programs. After those 10 minutes of shooting, several photos or certain seconds of video will be downloaded. Sony is projects that in the 90 minute session a users will be able to tae approx. 50 photos or 30 seconds of video. They do plan on offering an opportunity to expand the number of photo downloads or longer video download for an extra cost option.

When Can I Control Star Sphere?

Later this year (2023) Sony will give you the opportunity shoot your own space photography and videography using there Star Sphere satellite by booking a 1 orbit time slot on there website.

During your time slot you will be able to adjust the satellites zoom, pan, tilt and more!

The Satellite

The Star Sphere Satellite is a small 6U cube satellite measuring 12cm x 24cm x 36cm (4.7inch x 9.4inch x 14.1 inch).

The first Star Sphere satellite will be deployed into a 500km-600km Sun Synchronous orbit. The satellite will feature a Sony full frame camera with a 28-135 mm lens providing users the ability to shot high quality images and 4K videos.

Sony has partnered with the University of Tokyo and JAXA to develop and operate the Star Sphere Space Inspiration Project. Sony is responsible for the operation and control of the satellite, construction of all systems including the simulator and ground systems. The University of Tokyo help with development of the satellites engine chambers due there previous work on ultra small probes/nano sats and the development of the water powered engine to allow the satellite to perform small burns to boost its orbit, extending the satellites lifetime. JAXA is leveraging their experience with satellite development and operations and helping with technical project development support.

When the satellite passes over a ground antennas, users will be able view live images from the onboard camera.

Star Sphere Launch

Sony launched their first Star Sphere satellite on January 3rd, 2023 on SpaceX Transporter 6 mission. SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket launched from SLC-40 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station at 9:56am ET with 114 payloads onboard including Sony's Star Sphere Satellite.