Esko sold the Kongsberg XN24 to NASA and the unit will be going into the Johnson space Centre in Houston the mission control centre for all the lunar launches and shuttle missions.
Sean Arney from Esko explains, ‘There is a department that is responsible for all the film and photographic content going all the way back to the original Apollo mission. I was taken into a vault that contains a sub vault, filled with Halliburton suitcases with special seals. These are the national film archives where the original film is all kept. This department has converted all this film to digital over the past 10 years. Really something to see and like in the movies going into the vault. The department makes all sorts of high end prints of various things, for example space photos that they stitch together and make huge panoramas. They mount these to a variety of substrates, but mostly 3/8″ PVC foam core board.’
‘Then, they painstakingly assemble the panels so that the graphics line up right – all by hand using band saws and such. They also do hundreds of smaller mission specific signs. Each mission, now joint Russian and US missions, has specific graphics and specific astronauts that get an amazing variety of personalised signs – parking, doors, speeches, meeting rooms etc. The XN24 with i-cut Vision will save them so much time they are thrilled,’ Arney adds.