While very few humans get
the chance to travel on the space shuttle, even fewer get to be near the launch
pad when astronauts begin their historic journeys. An array of Canon HD lenses,
however, enabled the 24-hour all-high definition television network HDNet to
take viewers where few have gone before to witness the launch of the Space
Shuttle Atlantis, mission STS 115, on
the morning of Saturday, September 9th.

HDNet, transmitting in 1080i
HDTV to a wide range of cable and satellite television providers, relied on the
triple-digit-zoom capabilities of the Canon DIGISUPER 100xs HD lens, as well as
the superior HD optics of the Canon DIGISUPER 86xs and DIGISUPER 75xs long
field HD lenses to ensure that the full power of the launch of the space
shuttle which could be the most complex machine ever built was dramatically
conveyed to television viewers. A space shuttle launch is a magnificent thing
to see, and there is no better way to see it than in HD, says Philip Garvin,
Co-Founder and General Manager of HDNet. Our Canon lenses bring tremendous
presence and resolution to HDNet s coverage, and since NASA doesn t allow
people to be where they do allow many of the cameras and lenses, viewing it in
HD is actually better than being there.

Capable of a 1860 mm focal
length and equipped with Canon s innovative Shift-IS Image Stabilization
technology, the DIGISUPER 100xs lens is charged with the special mission of
tracking space shuttles as they accelerate into the cosmos for at least 176,000
feet, which amounts to 33 miles into the Earth s atmosphere. We have the Canon
DIGISUPER 100xs lens deployed on a special rig that tracks the shuttle into the
sky, and we switch to that camera and lens directly after liftoff, Garvin
explains. When you combine the strength of that lens with the resolution of
HD, it s like you re right up there with the space shuttle.

The launch of
Space Shuttle Atlantis on mission STS 115 was a significant one, marking NASA s
first addition to the International Space Station in almost four years. During
three spacewalks, crewmembers of Atlantis installed the P3/P4 integrated truss
and a second set of solar panels that will double the orbiting outpost s
ability to generate electrical power from sunlight and add 17.5 tons to its

With the Canon DIGISUPER
100xs lens on hand, complemented by the
Canon DIGISUPER 86xs and DIGISUPER XJ75xs HD lenses at
various locations on or near the launch pad, HDNet knew it would provide the
best possible imagery to cover the beginning of this critical mission. Canon
optics are excellent they always compare favorably in our evaluations, says
Garvin. We also feel that we enjoy a great relationship with Canon s
engineering and sales staff. They absolutely deliver on their promise of prompt
support, whether the event is a shuttle launch, NASCAR race, basketball, or

The DIGISUPER 100xs lens is the world s first
triple-digit zoom lens and is one of four in Canon s line of DIGISUPER long
field lenses intended for both HDTV and SDTV production. This product line also
includes: the DIGISUPER 86x lens(offered in the XJ86x9.3BIE-D standard version
and the XJ86x13.5BIE-D telephoto version); the DIGISUPER 75xs lens
(XJ75x9.3BIE-D); and the DIGISUPER 60xs lens (XJ60x9BIE-D).

Canon s unique second-generation built-in
Image Stabilization (or Shift-IS) system enables directors and producers to
capture rock-solid images from telephoto distances with crystal clarity and
deliver them virtually shake-free to viewing audiences. The DIGISUPER lens line
also features Canon s XS technology for improved optical performance and
lighter weight, courtesy of Canon s exclusive Power Optical System. And all
Canon DIGISUPER lenses incorporate the company s second-generation Digital
Servo System, which provides microcomputer compensation of lens focus breathing
(the inadvertent alteration of field of view when operating the focus control)
as well as a host of other improved digital operational features for focus and
zooming control. Canon s DIGISUPER lenses deliver precision HDTV and SDTV
production performance and heightened long-range zoom capabilities, features
that have made Canon a standard of excellence in sports, entertainment, and
studio production.

On location from astronaut suit-up to launch
with Canon HD lenses, HDNet is helping to enlighten a whole new generation of
viewers on the importance and majesty of space flight. We feel strongly that
our coverage has renewed people s passion for watching launches, simply because
it s so amazing to see in HD, Philip Garvin observes. When you embark on a
broadcast mission this important, you look for suppliers that will really go to
work for you Canon is one that we can count on.

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