JAXA to set up a two-way streaming studio on the ISS

The Japanese space agency, JAXA, is teaming up with Bascule and SKY Perfect JSAT Corporation to set up a studio on the International Space Station (ISS) that will provide two-way live-streaming video feeds starting in 2020. Part of the JAXA Space Innovation through Partnership and Co-Creation (J-SPARC) initiative, its purpose is to help promote the commercial development of “space media businesses.”

Called “The Space Frontier KIBO,” the mini video station will be installed in Japanese Experiment Module “Kibo” on the ISS. The basic set will consist of two tablet terminals, one on either side the module’s porthole, where an astronaut will act as cameraman and lighting technician for two-way live streaming of original, interactive programs.

On the technical end, media technology company Bascule is developing new data protocols that will be compatible with the communication restrictions that the ISS works under.

The goal is to begin streaming by the middle of next year with a more advanced version of the system coming online in 2021 that will use a new camera developed by SKY Perfect JSAT.