Miracle or something else? NASA camera melts during SpaceX rocket launch, but the photos survived!One of the remote cameras melted in a fire sparked by a SpaceX Falcon 9 launch on Tuesday but it still managed to snap photos of the liftoff, Space.com reported. Doesn't this look like a miracle?
The "toasty" camera was a Canon DSLR that Veteran NASA photographer Bill Ingalls placed about a quarter mile (1,320 feet, or 402 meters) from SpaceX's pad, called Space Launch Complex 4E, at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. It was one of six remote cameras that the photographer set up to chronicle the launch of NASA's twin GRACE-FO satellites on Tuesday (May 22), the report on the site stated.
The camera melted in a brush fire triggered by the Falcon 9 launch, Ingalls told Space.com. Vandenberg's fire department arrived to the launchpad after liftoff (which is typical of Vandenberg launches, to secure the site). A firefighter then found the camera and had it waiting for Ingalls when he arrived to collect his remote cameras, it added.
"The Vandenberg Fire Department put the fire out pretty quickly, but unfortunately my camera got toasted" before they got to it, Ingalls said.
It was the first time that one of Ingalls' cameras has been melted during a launch, and he's been snapping photos for NASA since 1989.
But despite being melted, the camera still managed to do its job. In one photo, the camera snapped a single frame of the SpaceX Falcon 9 as it began to lift off. "At least [it] got a frame before the camera bit the dust," Ingalls wrote.
Then came the fire.
The next photo clearly shows flames overtaking the camera. "Reason for the toasty remote camera," Ingalls wrote.
One final photo by Ingalls shows the remains of the camera, its lens a charred mess of bubbled plastic. "Toasty remote camera," Ingalls wrote.