Renowned NASA photographer Bill Ingalls set up a remote DSLR camera pointed at the launch pad yesterday during the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launch. When he went back to retrieve the camera afterward, this is what he found.
The $3,500 Canon 5DS DSLR and pricey L lens used for the close-up had gotten melted.
“Well, one remote cam outside the pad perimeter was found to be a bit toast(y). Sigh,” Ingalls writes. “And yes, it made pix until its demise.”
Ingalls did manage to retrieve photos from the memory card on the camera, including this frame that the camera had captured prior to its death:
The camera also managed to capture this last photo showing the flames that were responsible for melting the camera:
Earlier this year, rocket launch photographer John Kraus also ruined a lens when he placed his remote camera just 300 feet from the Atlas V rocket launch. But even Kraus was impressed by how much damage this camera took.
This camera’s death actually wasn’t caused by the camera being placed too close to the launch pad. Ingalls tells PetaPixel that the gear was set up about 1/4 mile away, and that a brush fire that sprang up after the launch is what ruined the equipment.
“That being said – still closer than anyone would ever stand,” Ingalls says.