Vandenberg Air Force Base, California –
A NASA camera was flooded with flames when it shot a recent launch, but its photos survived to show its fiery last moments.
The camera in question was one of six built by long-standing NASA photographer Bill Ingalls around Vandenberg Air Force Base to cover the launch of the agency's GRACE-FO mission on May 22. The launch, a quarter of a mile away, ignited a grass fire that spread quickly to the area where the camera was set up and set it ablaze.
When Ingalls Fetched the Camera, He Found His Dead Body
The photographs published by NASA show several plumes of smoke rising from the launch pad before orange flames began to sow nearby vegetation and crawl towards the camera , As the camera is overwhelmed by the inferno, its plastic case melts over the lens until the camera stops recording.
NASA said in a blog post that the molten camera is likely to be on display at its Washington headquarters. The other five cameras, ironically all closer to the start than the ones that were burning, were unaffected by the fire.