• The stunning selfie of the satellite was captured over the Great Barrier Reef
  • The company noted the benefits of using a GoPro instead of a space-grade camera
  • Footage may inspire people to "take up careers in the rapidly growing space industry"

A company has shared a stunning selfie of its microsatellite with the Earth in its background, but it wasn't shot using state-of-the-art space-grade camera technology. It was shot using a GoPro.

The selfie was taken using a GoPro 7 Hero camera that was attached to the microsatellite via a custom-made selfie stick, NanoAvionics, a manufacturer of small satellite technology, noted in its press release.

In the stunning footage shared on Twitter, one can see Papua New Guinea, Australia, the Great Barrier Reef, and even the Moon "photobombing" the view of the Earth.

"The reason for taking the photo and video clip with the Great Barrier Reef in the background was partly symbolic," NanoAvionics CEO and co-founder, Vytenis J. Buzas, said in the press release. "We wanted to highlight the vulnerability of our planet and the importance of Earth observation by satellites, especially for monitoring environment and climate changes."

The company also shared a 4K resolution version of the selfie, calling it the "first ever 4K resolution full satellite selfie in space with an immersive view of Earth."

The footage was taken while its MP42 microsatellite was cruising 550 kilometers (342 miles) above the Coral Sea and the Great Barrier Reef.

The satellite was launched to space back in April via the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket. The company opted for an off-the-shelf GoPro and stripped it "down to its bones," instead of using space-grade cameras as the latter typically "don't have enough resolution," are expensive, can take months to develop, and "cannot always provide an immersive view of Earth," it noted in the press release.

"Photos and videos of satellites circling our planet could draw more attention and help more people and organizations to realize the societal, economic, educational and environmental benefits that satellites provide," Buzas said in the press release, noting that satellites can help monitor wildfires, chemical spills, and even help track endangered species.

"It could also inspire more people to take up careers in the rapidly growing space industry," Buzas added.

Apart from capturing stunning views of the Earth, the camera was also used to test satellite operations as well as its new payload controller.

The company noted that in the future, such real satellite footage from the camera can be used for various purposes such as deployment confirmation, micro-meteorite impacts and fault detection.

"In our increasingly visual culture, it is important for investors, students, customers and the general public to see in order to believe," Buzas said. "Millions watch rocket launches but barely see satellites moving in orbit or deployable structures in operation. This is going to change through live or recorded footage."

The GoPro Hero7 will be available in three models: Black, Silver and White. REUTERS/Thomas White