Falcon 9 Incinerates Photographer's Camera at Launch


The satellites were launched aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9, and Ingalls made a decision to put his camera in harm's way for the chance to snap a one-of-a-kind photo. If you look at the image below, which the camera snapped before it met its maker, you'll notice it's some considerable distance away from the launch pad.

The rocket was also carrying a pair of research satellites as part of the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment Follow-On, or GRACE-FO, mission. "And Yes, before his death she took the picture", wrote Ingalls in Facebook after the launch.

According to Space.com, the Canon DSLR was just one of the six cameras installed by Ingalls along the launch perimeter, and the only one to get melted in the brush fire.

One of the last lots of Falcon 9 rockets of the SpaceX company has been shifted to the Company's California launch pad.

Ingalls did manage to retrieve the memory card from his destroyed Canon 5D (worth US$3,500 for the body only in case you were wondering), which kept snapping up until its fiery demise. The huge plume of fire from the rocket ignited vegetation - a common occurrence during such events - in the area where the camera was located and melted it into oblivion. "Toasty remote camera", Ingalls wrote.

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"Once the fire reached the camera, it was quickly engulfed".

One weird fact: The melted camera was the furthest from SpaceX's launchpad set up by Ingalls.

Mr Ingalls began collecting his cameras, finding ones closer to the launch pad in good condition.

Ingalls is an experienced space launch photographer, and it wasn't rocket fuel that turned the Canon camera to goo, but rather the heat of a brush fire that was caused by the burn of the rocket fuel.so there was a stroke of bad luck there. By the time firefighters put out the flame, the camera was already ruined.

Ingalls said that cameras close to launchpads typically face a much bigger threat from debris, which can get kicked up by a soaring rocket and can destroy filming equipment.