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MSG Sphere camera system to be tested in space

Updated December 8, 2021 - 10:25 am

A camera system being developed to provide content for the MSG Sphere at The Venetian is going into space.

Representatives of the Madison Square Garden Entertainment Corp., which is building the 17,500-seat, $1.9 billion entertainment venue east of the Venetian Expo Center, said Tuesday that the company won a research award from the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space.

The company did not disclose the amount of the award.

With the award, the company plans to conduct three missions over the next several years to send camera equipment to the International Space Station to test the ultra-high-fidelity, ultra-high-resolution camera system.

MSG has indicated it would use the camera system to develop videos it would display on the 160,000-square-foot screen that will wrap up, over and behind the audience at a resolution more than 100 times that of a high-definition television when the venue opens in 2023.

“We are honored that CASIS selected our research proposal, which we believe will not only benefit our plans for MSG Sphere, but also support groundbreaking imaging of Earth and space from the ISS — enhancing our collective understanding of what’s possible,” said David Dibble, CEO of MSG Ventures.

“With MSG Sphere, we are creating an entirely new platform for immersive experiences — which requires developing our own content creation tools,” he said. “This includes camera and lens technology capable of producing ultra-high-resolution images — and there is no better setting to explore this advanced technology than the awe-inspiring perspective of space.”

This year, CASIS sought applications for exploring how the ISS National Lab, which it manages through an agreement with NASA, could be used to advance technology, and, after a competitive process, MSG Entertainment’s proposal was selected.

The MSG Sphere camera research plan was submitted by the company’s MSG Ventures division, which is tasked with developing technologies to support content creation for the MSG Sphere, the first large-scale venue to use multisensory storytelling for immersive experiences.

Andrew Shulkind, MSG Ventures senior vice president of Capture and Talent Management, will serve as the program’s project lead and principal investigator. A former NASA astronaut, Gregory Chamitoff, who logged nearly 200 days and two spacewalks on two space shuttle missions and a space station expedition, is co-investigator, advising on the proposal.

The Review-Journal is owned by the family of Dr. Miriam Adelson, the majority shareholder of Las Vegas Sands Corp., which operates the Venetian Expo Center, as well as The Venetian.

Contact Richard N. Velotta at rvelotta@reviewjournal.com or 702-477-3893. Follow @RickVelotta on Twitter.

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