Ace NASA photographer Bill Ingalls was present when SpaceX launched Falcon 9 rocket into the orbit from the Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. SpaceX launched Falcon 9 into space, on Tuesday evening, carrying a payload of seven satellites. But, the surprise came when Ingalls noticed that one of his cameras melted in a fire but still managed to snap photos of the liftoff. The camera, despite being only 400 metres away from the launch pad melted in the take-off fire, but remarkably survived to take stunning pictures of the brush fire and launch. Ingalls posting pictures of melted camera said, “Well, one remote cam outside the pad perimeter was found to be a bit toast(y). sigh and yes – it made pix until it’s demise.”
Ingalls had placed the Canon DSLR at the Space Launch Complex 4E, name of SpaceX launch pad, and was one of the five cameras set up by the photographer to capture the launch of NASA’s twin GRACE-FO satellites. Five commercial Iridium Next communications satellites also travelled the Falcon 9 into orbit. Ingalls reported that the camera was found burnt by a firefighter who had arrived to secure the site after the launch. Ingalls said that though he had placed other cameras closer to the launch pad, they were safe.
Ingalls who has been taking pictures for NASA since 1989 said that it was the first instance when his camera got melted due to brush fire during a launch, however, the photographer was quick to point out that brush fires common incidents during rocket launches. Despite the burn, Ingalls camera snapped a single frame of SpaceX Falcon 9 liftoff. Ingalls wrote that at least he got a frame the camera got incinerated.
In the pictures posted by Ingalls, one frame captures the flames overtaking the camera and another shows the remains of the charred camera