22. April 2020 aerialsurveybase Ollie

Zeiss RMK in Space (Spacelab Mission)

Carl Zeiss RMK A 30/23 (Carl Zeiss) aerial survey camera – Camera Experiment in NASA Spacelab Mission 1 – STS-9 NASA

In the first Spacelab Mission on Space Shuttle, which was scheduled for Oct./Nov. 1983, a Carl Zeiss metric camera was on board as part of the earth observation payload.

The application of Metric Cameras in Space, an area which has been neglected up to that time, can effectively contribute to an improved cartographic coverage of the earth.Zeiss RMK in Space

With this experiment it will be the first time that a calibrated photogrammetric camera with the standard aerial film format of 23 cm x 23 cm (9 x 9 inch, large format) was used in space to obtain high-quality aerial photographs of the earth’s surface.  The camera was a modified Aerial Survey Camera of the well known type ZEISS RMK A 30/23.

The RMK A 30/23 Metric Camera instrument has been provided to the European Space Agency (ESA) for the flight in the first Spacelab Mission as a multiuser facility by the Federal Republic of Germany. It has been sponsored by the German Ministry for Research and Technology and developed by the main contractor MBB-ERNO and subcontractors Carl ZEISS and Kayser-Threde under a contract from German Aerospace Research Establishment (DFVLR) based on an experiment proposal by honored Prof. Konecny, lnstitut for Photogrammetrie und lngenieurvermessungen, University of Hannover.


BTW. the films were processed under supervision of Ernst „Charly“ Rathmann at Hansa Luftbild – German Air Surveys – facilities in Munster, Germany. They have also processed some of films of the Hasselblad cameras used when discovering the moon decades before. Kodak Double-X Aerographic and Aerochrome Infrared Film 2443 (CIR) were EA-5 processed using a Kodak Versamat 1811.


I received this brochure from Dr. Winfried Lorch of Carl Zeiss, Oberkochen, the well honored „father“ of RMK Top camera series.
The 7-elements Topar A 1 lens of RMK A 30/23 was calculated and developed by Dr. Hannfried Zügge of Carl Zeiss.

The camera is for display at Deutsches Museum, Munich (link)