June 23, 2018

NASA shares final images from camera that melted during recent launch

31 May 2018, 09:25 | Edward Lowe

Image nasa bill ingalls

Image nasa  bill ingalls

One of the cameras melted to a crisp in a brush fire that was lit by the rocket's super-hot exhaust plume.

"NASA photographer Bill Ingalls has been shooting for the agency for 30 years".

Ingalls explains that he had six remote locations that included two outside the launch pad and four on the inside. The remote cameras are created to automatically capture stunning up-close images once the thunderous roar of the rocket is heard. Fortunately, for posterity, the memory card was not damaged in the fire.

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Yet that is exactly what happened after NASA photographer Bill Ingalls placed one of his remote cameras outside the launch safety perimeter.

"Unfortunately, the launch started a grass fire that toasted one of the cameras outside the perimeter", he said in a post on NASA's website. The body started to melt. Interestingly enough, it was the furthest camera away from the site.

Thankfully, it is not the end for the piece of kit, which will receive posthumous glory as it is likely to be displayed at the NASA headquarters in Washington DC. But when he returned to retrieve it, firefighters were waiting.

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A NASA photographer was able to salvage a camera's memory card and watch the final moments before the device was engulfed in flames while filming a launch at a California air base.

Ingalls aptly named it "toasty". Meanwhile, Ingalls himself will soon travel to Kazakhstan to photograph the June 3 landing of the International Space Station's Expedition 55 crew.

The heavy brush around the camera is to blame. It appears that first, the plastic glare shield that extends in front of the lens softened and drooped over the lens. When the rocket launched, the resulting blast started a fire that quickly spread out beyond the boundaries of the launch zone.

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