NASA Camera Melted During a SpaceX Rocket Launch, Photos Survived
27 May, 2018, 05:25 | Author: Darnell Taylor
One of Ingalls's cameras, a Canon 5D worth several thousands of dollars, was burned to a crisp as a result of the Falcon launch.
If you're shooting photos of a space rocket launch, the risk to damage equipment is all too real, as one NASA photographer demonstrated this week.
The launch went off without a hitch, and the camera managed to capture it. In the aftermath of the fiery blaze that sent SpaceX's 70-meter rocket blasting off into space, a "toasty" camera discovered about a quarter of a mile from the launchpad will forever stand testimony to Tuesday's great event - in more ways than one.
The rocket was also carrying a pair of research satellites as part of the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment Follow-On, or GRACE-FO, mission. As Ingalls wrote in a Facebook post after the incident, "it made pix [sic] until it's [sic] demise". A NASA camera was destroyed in the process.
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Speaking to Space.com, Ingalls explained that Vandenberg's fire department arrived at the launchpad after liftoff to secure the area and put out any fires that might have been started by the launch.
Photographer Bill Ingalls has been taking pictures for NASA since 1989, but Tuesday was a first for him: for the first time, one of his cameras had its faced melted off by a rocket launch.
You may have seen the image dancing across your social media feeds: a thoroughly melted camera still clinging to a tripod mount. "I had many other cameras much closer to the pad than this and all are safe", Ingalls wrote.
Ingalls is an experienced space launch photographer, and it wasn't rocket fuel that turned the Canon camera to goo, but rather the heat of a brush fire that was caused by the burn of the rocket fuel.so there was a stroke of bad luck there. Still, much of the body looks like it's maybe (hopefully?) salvageable, depending on just how long it spent in the fire. He says in the post that the camera managed to capture images until the end of its life.
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