Panasonic camera to chronicle Portuguese space explorer

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When the first Portuguese space explorer launches into orbit some time in 2008, a Panasonic P2 digital camcorder will chronicle the event.

Portuguese tourism magnate Mario Ferreira is among the first to have booked passage with the Virgin Galactic company, which plans to fly paying passengers into space from its Mojave Desert launch facility. Portugal’s top commercial broadcaster, SIC, is relying on Panasonic’s AG-HVX200 digital camcorder to report on Ferreira’s historic endeavor.

“Portugal has no astronauts and no space agency, so the Portuguese people are very excited about this project,” said Lucia Goncalves, the SIC deputy executive editor who is covering Ferreira’s flight for SIC. “They see Ferreira as a modern-day Vasco de Gama, one of the great figures of the Age of Exploration.”

Currently, Ferreira is dedicated to a strenuous physical training program developed by Virgin Galactic to prepare him for his journey. He has already experienced weightlessness at a NASA facility in Florida, an event recorded by SIC on the Panasonic AG-HVX200 camcorder. In January, Ferreira will go to New York City for the unveiling of the Virgin Galactic spacecraft, an occasion that also will be reported by SIC using Panasonic equipment.

In carrying out a rigorous assignment, whether in space or on Earth, P2 technology from Panasonic has a number of advantages. P2 cameras record video as digital files, using solid-state design with no moving parts. This means the AG-HVX200 delivers reliable performance in spite of shock, vibration, or temperature change. Likewise, digital files are great for producing news stories on location and on the fly because the images can be integrated into a production workflow so quickly and easily.

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