A DSLR camera melted on Tuesday, May 22, during SpaceX’s latest Falcon 9 rocket launch. The camera belongs to NASA photographer Bill Ingalls.
On May 22 Ingalls traveled to California to photograph the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launch two spacecraft into orbit from Vandenberg Air Force Base northwest of Santa Barbara.
The rocket sparked fire which melted one of his remote cameras.
However, it was not the heat from the rocket launch. In the image below, you can see that Ingalls placed the camera at a safe distance.
Instead, a brush fire caused by the launch, “toasted” the camera.
“I had many other cameras much closer to the pad than this and all are safe,” he said in a Facebook post. “This was the result of a small brush fire, which is not unheard of from launches, and was extinguished by fireman, albeit after my cam was baked.”
Vandenberg’s fire department arrived at the launchpad after liftoff. A firefighter then found the camera and had it waiting for Ingalls when he arrived to collect his remote cameras.
“The Vandenberg Fire Department put the fire out pretty quickly, but unfortunately my camera got toasted” before they got to it, Ingalls said.
The “toasty” camera was a Canon DSLR that Ingalls placed about a quarter mile from SpaceX’s pad. The Space Launch Complex 4E pad lies at the Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. This was one of Ingall’s six remote cameras.
Fortunately, the blaze spared his memory cards. Thus, allowing us to see his remote shots of the Falcon 9 taking off, and also the blaze that followed the launch.
Here you can see the photos from the rest of Ingalls’s cameras that were safe.
Thumbnail image: NASA photographer Bill Ingalls posted this photo of his melted Canon camera. A brush fire caused by the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launch, “toasted” the camera. Credit: Bill Ingalls/NASA