Science

SpaceX blasts off Iridium, NASA satellites in 10th launch this year

SpaceX blasts off Iridium, NASA satellites in 10th launch this year”

Bill Ingalls was one of NASA's key men in documenting the Tuesday launch of Falcon 9 that carried the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment Follow-On and five Iridium NEXT communications satellites.

Unfortunately, Ingalls got an unwelcome surprise when he walked about a quarter-mile from the launchpad to retrieve his camera after the event was over.

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.

NASA photographer Bill Ingalls posted this photo of his melted Canon camera after it was destroyed by a brush fire sparked by a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launch at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California on May 22, 2018.

"Well, one camera outside the perimeter of the pad is a little fried". The camera, however, managed to save the photos that were taken by the photographer.

"Well, one remote cam outside the pad perimeter was found to be a bit toast (y)", Ingalls wrote on Facebook after the launch, "and yes - it made pix until [its] demise".

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.

As we already know from Ingall's posted images, the memory card retained the shots, with the camera doing its job until the heat proved too much. He adds that a nearby fireman was able to extinguish the fire while it was happening but it was too late.

"I had many other cameras much closer to the pad than this and all are safe", he wrote on Facebook.

The camera melted in a brush fire triggered by the Falcon 9 launch, Ingalls told Space.com today (May 23). It was the first solar eclipse to pass the continental USA since 1979. Lensrentals added in their article, that even though their equipment was damaged, they didn't want it to seem like a criticism of its customers.



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