Not only did Space Shuttle Atlantis blast off to the International Space Station (ISS) for her STS-135 mission last week, but it was also confirmed that video streaming technology will be installed on the International Space Station.

The high definition streaming video camera, which will be designed, built and tested in the UK, is a joint venture between Canada, Russia and the UK and has been described as a mixture of Google Earth and YouTube.

David Willetts, Minister for Universities and Science, revealed that two cameras will be installed aboard the Russian module of the ISS next year. “This exciting international project will give people the opportunity to see Earth from an astronaut’s perspective”, stated Willetts.

Canadian company UrtheCast (pronounced Earth Cast) will display the recorded data in near-real time on its web platform and users will be able to track the Earth, view a specific time and location and interact with the video feed.

“We feel that the ability to show people what Earth looks like from space, in a near-real time environment, will provide for a significant educational opportunity”, stated UrtheCast President Scott Larson. “At the same time, showing people how close we are all connected and responsible for [the] Earth, is obviously something we continually need to be reminded about.”

Former NASA astronaut Dr. Dave Williams stated the “The UrtheCast camera will support the ISS and continue to inspire youth to pursue advanced studies in space sciences and spark interest in science, technology, engineering and the environment.”