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Clarion Is Out of This World - First Car A/V Components go into Space


Clarion DVD multimedia unit to be installed in International Space Station
Advanced automotive technology will help ISS crew members relax and communicate

Clarion’s 7-inch DVD Multimedia Station VRX935VD and 6-disc DVD Changer VCZ625 (both N&S American market models) have been selected to provide entertainment to crew members and scientists from many countries working on the International Space Station (ISS). This is the first time that car A/V components will be used on the ISS.

A word from the developers at Clarion

We are extremely pleased that products developed by our team have found recognition for quality and reliability among top-level engineers engaged on such a large-scale international project. The automotive environment presents a number of challenges such as heat, dust, and condensation that make it tough for high-tech products to work reliably. Of course, space goes far beyond such mundane conditions, but the fact that these components have been deemed capable of operating in such a novel environment will be an inspiration for us as we continue to work towards creating products of true quality.

Clarion’s motto as encompassed by the initials H.M.I is to present a “Human Mobile Music Media Interface”. We develop and market our products on a global scale and are thrilled to imagine that these products will soon contribute to the relaxation and social interaction of astronauts and scientists from many different countries, working on a project of international significance.

The International Space Station is a major cooperative project jointly pursued by the United States, Russia, Japan, Canada, and several European countries. It has been continuously inhabited by a rotating crew of two or three since November 2000. With the aim of providing the resident crew with an environment that resembles the conditions on earth, NASA drew up a plan to install a DVD player for relaxation. Various possibilities were explored, but the fact that the batteries on the ISS provide the same voltage as found in 12 Volt automotive systems led to the decision to use equipment originally designed for car use. After stringent tests of various products by major manufacturers from around the world, the Clarion Multimedia Station VRX935VD (replaced by a future model) and 6-disc DVD Changer VCZ625 were selected to provide playback capability for a range of formats including DVD, CD, CD-R/RW, and MP3. The renowned reliability of Clarion’s automotive DVD players played a major role in the decision.

The VRX935VD and VCZ625 models incorporate advanced automotive-use technologies developed by Clarion, were modified and integrated into a purpose-built unit for use on the ISS. Currently, the units are awaiting launch at the Star City complex of the Russian Space Agency (RSA). On the ISS, the units will be installed close to the residential area for the crew.


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