The Associated Press writes:
IMAX Corp. is donating its first cameras used to film aboard the space shuttle to the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum in Washington.
Two large-format cameras used to make 70-mm films were donated to the museum Wednesday to become part of the Smithsonian’s permanent collection.
Nearly 100 NASA astronauts were trained to operate IMAX cameras in space. They created the first giant-screen images of Earth and life in zero gravity. Their work produced a series of six IMAX space films, including “The Dream is Alive,” “Blue Planet,” “Destiny in Space” and “Mission to Mir.”
One camera was kept in the space shuttle cabin and another in its cargo bay.
Between 1984 and 1998, IMAX cameras were flown on 17 shuttle missions. These are the first sent to a museum.
UPDATE: More on IMAX’s camera donation:
collectSPACE: IMAX space cameras given to Smithsonian
Space.com: IMAX Space Cameras Donated to Smithsonian
Full Sail University Blog: Faculty Member James Neihouse Delivers IMAX Cameras to the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum
Smithsonian.com: The Space Shuttle’s IMAX Cameras Touch Down at Air and Space