August 8, 2005--As the space shuttle Discovery prepared to re-enter the earth's orbit Tuesday morning at Edwards Air Force Base, NASA was able to know more about the space shuttle's condition than its predecessor, Columbia, which blew up on re-entry in 2003, thanks to a small Topeka, Kansas company.
QuVIS, the Kansas company, supplied the high-resolution camera recorders that require little time for picture development. To prepare for Discovery's safe re-entry Tuesday, NASA analyzed images caught during launch by QuVIS' advanced technology.
The Discovery mission, the first shuttle launched since the 2003 disaster that killed all seven astronauts on board, had been marred with anxiety since its launch two weeks ago.
QuVIS founder and CEO Kenbe Goertzen said he believed that many of the problems surrounding Discovery were also present in previous missions, but that they went unnoticed because of less advanced technology. With QuVIS' ability to provide high-resolution images with low turnaround time, NASA scientists were able to analyze Discovery's launch, one of the most critical parts of the mission, quicker and at a closer perspective.
"This is the first chance we've had to look at the whole process under a microscope and see everything that's going on," Goertzen said. "At the same time, we've learned a lot about things that should have been monitored and analyzed relative to how safe the entire process is."
Goertzen also noted that in his opinion, Discovery's schedule and launch "seemed to be a textbook launch." But, he added, "With the much improved ability to scrutinize everything, the 'textbook event' turned out somewhat messier than had been previously believed."
Founded in 1994, QuVIS first made its mark in Hollywood, where post-production companies used QuVIS' high-resolution recorders for film editing.