NASA Camera Melted While It Captured SpaceX Launch, Grass Fire To Blame

That... probably isn't going to function anymore

That... probably isn't going to function

For those unaware, NASA and Germany launched the GRACE-FO mission back on May 22 from the Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.

Bill Ingalls, the space and aeronautics agency's photographer, is the one who was tasked that day with capturing the launch. Both within the agency and without, his creativity and efforts are well known, as his ability to always know exactly where to set up his cameras to get the flawless shots.

"He knows where to set up his cameras, so what explains the view from the camera, as seen in the GIF" at the top of the page.

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"I had six remotes, two outside the launch pad safety perimeter and four inside", Ingalls tells NASA. He said in the release that, "Unfortunately, the launch started a grass fire that toasted one of the cameras" placed on the outside.

"The location and vegetation can be seen in the set-up picture at right".

Moments later, the camera was engulfed in flames, as exhibited in one final image (which, in my opinion, is just as awe-inspiring as the others). The body started to melt. When Mr Ingalls returned to the site, firefighters were waiting to greet him. It could, which is how we can see the fire approaching the camera.

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"The "toasty" camera (below right), as Ingalls calls it, is likely headed for display somewhere at NASA 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.

Interestingly enough, of the 6 remote cameras that Ingalls set up, only the one farthest from the launch pad was damaged at all.

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Bottom line: The story - and more photos - behind NASA's melted camera photo. It was located 0.25 mile from the launchpad.NASA/Bill Ingalls Ingalls says he lost a Canon EOS 5Ds camera body, a Canon 24-105mm lens, and a tripod owned by NASA.

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