When GRACE's NASA satellites blew up on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket earlier this month, everything went smoothly. That is, unless you were a specific camera near the launch site. NASA photographer Bill Ingalls set up an expensive Canon in a lawn with a nice view of the Launchpad and, well, things were not going as planned.
Now that the GRACE Launch hype calmed down, NASA decided to take a closer look at exactly what happened to the camera. We already knew that the missile's departure did not directly ruin the camera and that it came to an end thanks to a bushfire that started in the wake of the launch, but now we have a fantastic GIF showing what it's like
" I had six remote controls, two outside the launch pad and four inside, "says Ingalls in a blog post on the NASA website. "Unfortunately, the launch started a grass fire that has roasted one of the cameras out of the area."
Okay, just enough, but what did the camera look like?
Just as Ingalls originally stated last week, the view of the start was pretty perfect, but the bushfire somehow came out of nowhere. The way the lens of the camera slowly melts, like an eyelid, when the device dies while it dies prematurely falls somewhere between tragic and hilarious. I let you decide.
Of the six cameras Ingalls set up for takeoff, the one who had bitten off the dust was actually furthest away. It was a quarter of a mile from the Launchpad, and the four cameras he'd placed around the pad remained intact. Talk about bad luck.
In any case, the camera is actually dead, but it still managed to keep its built-in memory card, which works like a kind of "black box". According to NASA, the camera is likely to be exhibited as an artifact at NASA headquarters in Washington.