SpaceX launched two new Earth-observing satellites for NASA and five commercial communications satellites for Iridium on a used Falcon 9 rocket in a ride-share mission from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California on Tuesday. But, when he returned to retrieve it, firefighters were waiting.
For those wondering about the four cameras on the inside of the camera, NASA reports that those, of course, were unharmed while the damaged one was one of the furthest away from the launch at about a quarter-mile away. "This was result of a small brush fire, which is not unheard of from launches, and was extinguished by fireman, albeit, after my cam was baked".
"I had six remotes, two outside the launch pad safety perimeter and four inside", he said. Once the fire reached the camera, it was quickly engulfed. Even though the camera was destroyed, Ingalls forced it open to see if its memory card could be salvaged. However the memory card and the photos survived. That's why we have that lovely GIF above offering a firsthand look at the death of a lone camera.
Ingalls has dubbed the melted mess his "toasty" camera, and it'll likely be put on display at NASA's headquarters in Washington, DC.
In the meantime, Ingalls will be traveling to Kazakhstan to photograph the June 3rd landing of the International Space Station's Expedition 55 crew. Most people assumed it must've been set up too close to the launch site, but that's not what happened. "He expects that will be a completely normal assignment".
The launch photo captured by the melted camera. Credit: NASA/Bill IngallsOne of the last shots taken by the NASA camera. It appears that first, the plastic glare shield that extends in front of the lens softened and drooped over the lens.
On May 22, a SpaceX rocket launch left one poor, seemingly high-end camera horribly disfigured and forever ruined.