NASA photographer Bill Ingalls’ camera melted in fire caused by rocket launch

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Credits: NASA/Bill Ingalls

Last week, a tweeted image of a melted camera belonging to NASA photographer Bill Ingalls caught the Internet’s attention. In a statement clarifying the matter, the space agency explained the story behind the image, saying, “His creativity and efforts to get unique images are well known within the agency and to those who follow it.”

Ingalls has worked as a NASA photographer for 30 years. In its statement published Friday, NASA explained that Ingalls knows where to setup his cameras, and that a grass fire caused by the GRACE-FO launch on May 22 was behind the . Though Ingalls had placed two cameras outside of the launch pad safety perimeter, the melted camera was one of four placed within the perimeter.

Speaking with NASA, Ingalls said, “I had six remotes, two outside the launch pad safety perimeter and four inside. Unfortunately, the launch started a grass fire that toasted one of the cameras outside the perimeter.”

Despite the camera casualty, NASA says the memory card within the camera survived the fire. The space agency published a GIF of the fire as it moved toward the camera, which recorded its own demise. NASA says it’ll “likely” display the melted device at its Washington DC headquarters.


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