This NASA camera melted during a SpaceX Rocket launch, but the photos survived!



  This NASA camera was melted during a SpaceX Rocket launch, but the photos survived

NASA photographer Bill Ingalls posted this photo of his melted Canon camera after it was destroyed by a fire triggered by a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California on May 22, 2018. Falcon 9 launched NASA's twin GRACE-FO satellites and five Iridium Next communications satellites.

Credit: Bill Ingalls / NASA

Veteran NASA photographer Bill Ingalls is no stranger to rocket launches, but he even seemed surprised when one of his remote cameras melted into a fire triggered by a SpaceX launch Falcon 9 on Tuesday but – wait for it, he still managed to take pictures of the takeoff.

"Well, a remote camera outside the perimeter of the platform turned out to be a little bit toasted (and)," Ingalls wrote on Facebook after the launch, "and yes, it's"

The "toast" camera was an SLR Canon digital that Ingalls placed about a quarter of a mile (1,320 feet or 402 meters) from the SpaceX platform, called Space Launch Complex 4E, in the Vandenberg Air Force. Base in California. It was one of six remote cameras that the photographer prepared to announce the launch of NASA's GRACE-FO twin satellites on Tuesday (May 22). Five commercial Iridium Next communications satellites also mounted the Falcon 9 in orbit. [See more awesome photos of SpaceX’s GRACE-FO launch]

The camera melted in a fire caused by the release of Falcon 9, Ingalls told Space.com today (May 23). The Vandenberg fire department arrived at the launch pad after takeoff (which is typical of Vandenberg launches, to secure the site). A firefighter found the camera and waited for Ingalls when he arrived to pick up his remote cameras.

"The Vandenberg Fire Department put out the fire quite quickly, but unfortunately my camera was roasted" before reaching it, Ingalls

It was the first time that one of the Ingalls chambers melted during a launch , and has been taking pictures for NASA since 1989.

But despite having melted, the camera still managed to do its job. In one photo, the camera made a single frame of the SpaceX Falcon 9 when it started to take off. "At least [it] got a frame before the camera bit the dust," Ingalls wrote.

  This photo of the launch of the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket was captured by a remote camera set up by NASA photographer Bill Ingalls before a fire melted the camera on May 22, 2018 at Vandenberg Air Base in California.

This photo of the launch of the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket was captured by a remote camera set up by NASA photographer Bill Ingalls before a fire destroyed the camera on May 22, 2018 at Vandenberg Air Base in California.

Credit: Bill Ingalls / NASA

Then came the fire.

The following photo clearly shows flames that reach the camera. "Reason for the remote camera toast", wrote Ingalls.

One last photo of Ingalls shows the remains of the camera, its lens a charred mess of bubbling plastic. "Remote Camera of Toasty", wrote Ingalls

  The flames of a fire are clearly visible this final image of a remote camera created by NASA photographer Bill Ingalls for the launch of the Spacecon Falcon 9 rocket on May 22, 2018 The fire finally melted the camera, but his memory card was still accessible.

The flames of a fire are clearly visible this final image of a remote camera created by NASA photographer Bill Ingalls for the launch of the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket on May 22, 2018. The fire at the end melted the camera , but his memory card was still accessible.

Credit: Bill Ingalls / NASA

The broom fire that scorched the Ingalls chamber seems to have been bad luck. It had four other remote cameras located much closer to the launch pad that came out unscathed and ran smoothly.

The biggest concern for a remote camera near the launch pad is usually ruin, Ingalls said. A rocket launch can raise rocks and other pieces of debris that can damage or destroy a camera.

Cameras near launch pads have protective housings, while lens filters can help protect cameras located farther away, he said.

Send an email to Tariq Malik at [email protected] or follow him @ tariqjmalik . Follow us @Spacedotcom Facebook and Google+ . Original article in Space.com.


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