European Space Agency takes cameras to the next level, builds one where you can see a human being's fingernail on the moon (from Earth, of course). They're calling this camera GAIA and it creates images with one billion pixels. The Space Agency enlisted UK based e2V Technologies. They built a huge digital camera with 106 charged coupled devices packed in together. This is the largest camera created ever for a space program. The reason behind the building of this camera is that at the beginning of the new millennium, the European Space Agency planned to map 1 billion stars in the Milky Way galaxy in 3D.
106 charged couple devices!
Each of the charged coupled devices are shaped like credit cards and are the width of human hairs, made of slabs of silicon carbide, and each store light in the form of a single pixel. The device is set to launch on the Soyuz-Fregat sometime this year. This ship will be out and beyond for five years, settling in the Earth-Sun L2 Larange Point. The discoveries it makes will be beamed to radio dishes in Spain and Australia.