Nikon has announced a number of its products including the Nikon D3S, D3X DSLRs and telephoto lenses will be used in the Russian segment of the International Space Station. The company says that no modifications will be made to any of the products and they will join the existing Nikon film and digital cameras/lenses used by the astronauts working in the segment. In a press release the company also mentions the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) had ordered 11 D3S bodies and 7 AF-S Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8G ED lenses for use in the Space Shuttle and ISS in 2009.

Press Release:

The latest Nikon equipment to be used in the Russian segment of the International Space Station

New orders received for Nikon D3S and D3X digital-SLR cameras as well as NIKKOR interchangeable lenses

June 14, 2010: Nikon Corporation (Michio Kariya, President) is pleased to announce that orders for one Nikon D3S and two Nikon D3X digital-SLR cameras, four interchangeable lenses including AF-S NIKKOR 400mm f/2.8G ED VR, software and various accessories have been received from S.P. Korolev Rocket and Space Corporation Energia, the general contractor of the Russian Federal Space Agency on the program operating the International Space Station(ISS). This equipment will be transported to the ISS via the Soyuz TMA-19 spacecraft, to be launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome on June 16, 2010.

No special improvements or modifications will be made to these products. They will be the same products available to consumers, confirming the incredible reliability of the D3S, D3X and NIKKOR lenses. The new equipment will be used along with Nikon SLR cameras, such as the Nikon F5 film-SLR camera and D2X digital-SLR camera and a variety of NIKKOR lenses already used with on-board activities of Russian cosmonauts working in the Russian segment of ISS.

Nikolay Cherlenyak, director of operations for Energia's ISS program, has commented as follows regarding this order.
"The integration of Nikon photographic equipment in space exploration has a long history and goes back to the moment when there first arose the question of photographing research conducted in orbit. It was then when the first Nikon film cameras and NIKKOR lenses, notable for precision and reliability, were sent into space. They had been used even on the station "Mir". Since then, the range of photographic equipment has been frequently supplemented by new products and advanced developments of the Nikon Company. Now with the latest models of Nikon D3S and D3X digital cameras, photography in space will reach a new, previously unattainable level "

Nikon has spent many years contributing to the study of space through the development and manufacture of advanced and extremely durable cameras and interchangeable lenses. With total production exceeding 50 million, NIKKOR lenses make the most of Nikon’s optical technologies. In 2009, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) ordered eleven D3S cameras and seven AF-S NIKKOR 14-24mm f/2.8G ED lenses for use in recording activities aboard the Space Shuttle and International Space Station.

In addition to the extreme environment of space, Nikon also provides official observation equipment used in exploring the Antarctic. Nikon equipment contributes to observation and research of these little explored regions with durability, reliability and technical capabilities that stand up to even the most severe environments.

Primary Nikon products in the current order
  • D3X
  • D3S
  • AF-S NIKKOR 400mm f/2.8G ED VR
  • AF-S NIKKOR 600mm f/4G ED VR
  • SB-900
  • AF-S Teleconverter TC-20E III
  • AF-S Teleconverter TC-17E II
  • AF-S Teleconverter TC-14E II
  • Capture NX2
  • Camera Control Pro 2
Nikon products already used in the ISS's Russian Segment
  • D2X
  • D200
  • D3X
  • Various NIKKOR lenses