NASA's relationship with Nikon is as strong as ever, judging by the fact that the space agency just placed a massive order for 53 Nikon D5 DSLRs.

According to Nikon, NASA ordered the cameras as-is (no hardware modifications) and plans to use them for photography on the International Space Station, as well as astronaut training on Earth. The agency might make some changes down the line, but for now there's no difference between the D5 cameras available to consumers and the ones being shipped to NASA.

This is the latest development in a long-running relationship between NASA and Nikon, which has provided the space agency with camera gear as far back as 1971 for the Apollo 15 space mission.

Most recently, Nikon provided NASA with 38 units of the Nikon D4 DSLR in 2013 and another 10 units of the D4 in 2016. The camera maker didn't reveal whether NASA received any special discounts on its bulk order, but assuming NASA paid retail price, the cost could have exceeded $344,000 USD.