This NASA Camera Melted During a SpaceX Rocket Launch, But a Photos Survived!

May 24, 2018 - photo frame

Veteran NASA photographer Bill Ingalls is no foreigner to rocket launches, though even he seemed astounded when one of his remote cameras melted in a glow sparked by a SpaceX Falcon 9 launch Tuesday though — wait for it — still managed to snap photos of a liftoff.

“Well, one remote cam outward a pad fringe was found to be a bit toast(y),” Ingalls wrote on Facebook after a launch, “and approbation – it done pix until [its] demise.”

The “toasty” camera was a Canon DSLR that Ingalls placed about a entertain mile (1,320 feet, or 402 meters) from SpaceX’s pad, called Space Launch Complex 4E, during Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. It was one of 6 remote cameras that a photographer set adult to account a launch of NASA’s twin GRACE-FO satellites on Tuesday (May 22). Five blurb Iridium Next communications satellites also rode a Falcon 9 into orbit. [See some-more overwhelming photos of SpaceX’s GRACE-FO launch]

The camera melted in a brush glow triggered by a Falcon 9 launch, Ingalls told currently (May 23). Vandenberg’s glow dialect arrived to a launchpad after liftoff (which is standard of Vandenberg launches, to secure a site). A firefighter afterwards found a camera and had it watchful for Ingalls when he arrived to collect his remote cameras.

“The Vandenberg Fire Department put a glow out flattering quickly, though unfortunately my camera got toasted” before they got to it, Ingalls said.

It was a initial time that one of Ingalls’ cameras has been melted during a launch, and he’s been gnawing photos for NASA given 1989.

But notwithstanding being melted, a camera still managed to do a job. In one photo, a camera snapped a singular support of a SpaceX Falcon 9 as it began to lift off. “At slightest [it] got a support before a camera bit a dust,” Ingalls wrote.

Credit: Bill Ingalls/NASA

Then came a fire.

The subsequent print clearly shows abandon overtaking a camera. “Reason for a toasty remote camera,” Ingalls wrote.

One final print by Ingalls shows a stays of a camera, a lens a charred disaster of bubbled plastic. “Toasty remote camera,” Ingalls wrote.

Credit: Bill Ingalls/NASA

The brush glow that destroyed Ingalls’ camera seems to have only been bad luck. He had 4 other remote cameras located most closer to a launchpad that done it by protection and worked flawlessly.

The biggest worry for a remote camera nearby a launchpad is customarily debris, Ingalls said. A rocket launch can flog adult rocks and other pieces of waste that can repairs or destroy a camera.

Cameras tighten to launchpads have protecting housings, while lens filters can assistance strengthen cameras located over away, he said.

Email Tariq Malik during or follow him @tariqjmalik. Follow us @Spacedotcom, Facebook and Google+. Original essay on

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