IBM says its award-winning one-gigabyte Microdrive(TM) offers the ruggedness and performance ideal for outer space or earthbound photographic missions. This, after NASA astronauts successfully stored and brought back digital images on IBM’s revolutionary one-inch hard disk drive during the recent Atlantis and Discovery shuttle missions.

After withstanding a series of tests including high doses of radiation and durability in a weightless environment, the Microdrive easily stored hundreds of data-intensive digital images from NASA’s most important missions to the International Space Station. The pictures were captured with the Kodak Professional DCS 660 digital camera, providing six megapixel resolution for high-quality professional images.

“IBM designed the Microdrive for reliability, high-performance and huge capacity — features that are essential to meet NASA’s rigorous standards for critical missions,” said Michael Kuptz, Microdrive business line manager, IBM Storage Technology Division. “If the Microdrive can be trusted to help capture NASA’s history-making journeys, imagine what it can do to preserve your child’s first smile or your business-critical documents.”

The high capacity of the 1 GB Microdrive enabled shuttle crew to be more productive by giving them extra time to spend capturing images instead of swapping in and out storage cards, as would be the case with lower capacity removable memory formats. In addition, according to Kodak and independent third-party testing, the Microdrive’s high performance enables Kodak digital cameras to write images to the Microdrive more quickly than to any other storage technology.

The Kodak Professional DCS 660’s six-megapixel resolution, offering precision surpassing that of 35 mm cameras, met NASA’s requirement for very high quality images. Digital files at this high resolution can be as large of 18 MB, compared to one to two MB for standard digital files.

“We optimized Kodak Professional’s digital cameras to be compatible with the IBM Microdrive because of its ability to quickly store and move very large files,” said Jay Kelbley, product manager, digital cameras, Kodak Professional. “Kodak and IBM together offer a ‘digital imaging workflow’ in the highest-quality image capture and storage solution on the market.”

NASA’s in-flight images captured with the IBM Microdrive and Kodak Professional DCS 660 digital camera can be viewed at for shuttle missions STS98 and STS102.

About the Microdrive

The IBM Microdrive offers breakthrough storage capacity for the portable electronic devices industry. With capacities ranging from 340 MB to 1 GB on a single one-inch diameter hard disk drive, the IBM family of Microdrives provides high-capacity and cost-effective personal storage in an industry-standard CompactFlash Type II form factor. Weighing just over half an ounce (16 grams), the Microdrive provides outstanding capacity in a compact, portable package — a key requirement for today’s handheld devices.

The Microdrive is supported by a host of portable handheld devices including digital music players, personal digital assistants, and digital cameras. In addition, the Microdrive supports multiple data types including MP3, Text, JPEG, voice, etc., and can hold up 1000 standard digital photographs, a thousand 200-page novels or nearly 18 hours of high-quality digital audio music.

The Microdrive continues IBM’s tradition and leadership in the innovation of hard disk drives.

The Microdrive is being offered at price points beginning at $299 for the 340 MB and $499 for the 1 GB. For more information on the Microdrive, visit or call 1-888-426-5214. About IBM

IBM develops and manufactures the industry’s most advanced information technologies, including computer systems, software, networking systems, storage devices and microelectronics. The IBM Storage Technology Division offers customers worldwide the most comprehensive range of industry-leading storage products available today. These storage solutions are offered through IBM, as well as a large network of IBM Business Partners and Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs).