IMAX Corporation, NASA and Warner Bros. Pictures today announced that IMAX 3D cameras will return to space to document one of NASA's most complex space shuttle operations - the final service of the Hubble Space Telescope (HST), STS-125. The IMAX 3D cameras are set to launch on board the Space Shuttle Atlantis on May 11th, 2009. The astronauts will operate the IMAX cameras and will film the five intricate and difficult spacewalks required to service Hubble. The IMAX footage will be combined with breathtaking up-close images of distant galaxies from Hubble in the upcoming IMAX/Warner Bros. Pictures co-production Hubble 3D.
This next installment of IMAX's 3D space film series is set to debut in IMAX theatres in Spring 2010. Through the world's most immersive cinematic experience, Hubble 3D will give audiences a front row seat as the gripping story unfolds.
The IMAX team has trained the Atlantis crew at the Johnson Space Center on the operation of the cameras, one of which will be mounted outside the cabin in the shuttle's cargo bay, to capture stunning IMAX 3D images of the historic final servicing mission. The Commander and Pilot will double as filmmakers as two teams of spacewalking astronauts - working in tandem with the shuttle's robot arm - perform some of the most challenging work ever undertaken in space as they replace and refurbish many of the telescope's delicate precision instruments.
"It's been said that The IMAX Experience is the next best thing to being in space, and with IMAX 3D, the audience really IS there," said Producer/Director Toni Myers, who will be at NASA's Kennedy Space Center Press Site on Saturday, May 9th at 3:00pm EDT to answer questions about Hubble 3D. "Fifteen years ago we made a film about space exploration that included Hubble, when it started sending back the first images. Today, we have Hubble's entire phenomenal legacy of data to explore. With IMAX 3D we can transport people to galaxies that are 13 billion light years away-back to the edge of time. Real star travel is here at last."
"We have worked with IMAX on past Hubble missions and were excited about working with them again on the current Hubble mission. The Hubble Space Telescope continues to dazzle us with the splendor of our universe and after the STS-125 mission we look forward to many more years of awe-inspiring imagery," said Bob Jacobs, NASA's acting assistant administrator for Public Affairs at Headquarters in Washington. "One of the challenges in sharing Hubble's story is identifying media that can capture the scope and scale of the cosmos. IMAX has developed innovative 3-D image capture and projection technology that creates a large scale immersive educational experience in which those of us on the ground are no longer passive observers of spaceflight, we're active participants."
"This represents a very special moment in IMAX history in which IMAX 3D technology has been selected to document one of our nation's most anticipated technological events. The Hubble Space Telescope has benefited all of humanity with a close examination of our universe. Now we can transport audiences right there, all through the power of IMAX 3D. With this upgrade the Hubble Space Telescope will continue to provide us with many years of service and this film will continue to tell its story for years to come," said Richard L. Gelfond, CEO of IMAX Corporation.
"'Hubble 3D' will allow moviegoers to get a front row seat to see these amazing other galaxies thanks to the power of this incredible telescope," said Dan Fellman, President, Domestic Distribution, Warner Bros. Pictures. "Through our partnership with IMAX, we've taken audiences to the depths of the ocean and put them in the driver's seat in NASCAR. 'Hubble 3D' will continue this great legacy of taking audiences to places they would otherwise never get to go and will continue to inspire both young and old alike."
"'Hubble 3D' will transport audiences to distant stars and beyond. It is one thing to look up at the heavens, but through this amazing project, audiences will be able to witness some of the most astonishing astronomical objects known to humankind, all from the comfort of an IMAX 3D theatre," said Greg Foster, Chairman and President of IMAX Filmed Entertainment. "We are thrilled to partner with Warner Bros. and NASA on this project and look forward to taking moviegoers to the outer edges of our universe through these extraordinary images in IMAX 3D."