When photographer Bill Ingalls set up his Canon 5DS to capture some remote shots of the May 22 launch of SpaceX's Falcon 9 at Vandenberg Air Force Base, he was probably hoping to snap a few amazing shots. And he did... but his poor DLSR had to take one for the team for it to happen.
Going outside to take some photographs, the worst weather you'll encounter is a bit of wind and rain, perhaps snow depending on where you live. This is nothing compared to what Kiwi photographer Anthony Powell has to deal with down in Antarctica, where it can get as cold as -50°C.
According to a Facebook post by Ingalls, the 5DS, which can be seen in melted form above, wasn't even the closest device to the launch pad. In fact, he had "many other cameras" further in, but those all managed to come out unscathed.
This one however? "Toasty", as Ingalls would say. And it wasn't even rocket flames — apparently it got caught in a brush fire, one hot enough to cook the unit.
As for the Falcon 9 itself, onboard is the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) Follow-On spacecraft, a joint collaboration between NASA and the German Research Centre for Geosciences.
The mission's objectives are as follows:
- To enable a better understanding of ocean surface currents and ocean heat transport
- To measure changes in the sea-floor pressure
- To study ocean mass changes
- To measure the mass balance of ice sheets and glaciers
- To monitor changes in the storage of water and snow on the continents
Oh yeah, the photos the camera managed to take. Well... here they are.