Antares Set To Launch Sunday And Our Remote Cameras Are Ready!
Antares Launch At NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility Is A Go For Sunday.
We are getting the gear ready for Sunday’s Antares launch at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility. Remote cameras are being tweaked and set with sound triggers. This is a whole new realm for us and Cody Croswell is like a kid in a candy store.
Cody is one of our eyes in the sky with his new drone set up and some other projects we are working on over the next year, but first, NASA. No we are not flying a drone at NASA, but yes, we asked.
If you are media and other news outlets, you are allowed to set up remote cameras at the launch pad. NASA allows us to get as close as they can and it is glorious. You could literally throw a rock at the rocket, we are that close. The last two launches Mike Givens had a camera set up for remote shots. I have seen some remote set ups that cost more than my truck times ten. Some of these folks set up multiple cameras to get that perfect shot. A lot of time, thought, and money is invested in these shots. The camera doesn’t move you have to get the right angle and hope. We are going to step that up with a little video if we can pull that off.
The people that do this regularly have all kinds of gadgets, and fancy set ups. Humidity and heat controls for the housings. Sound triggers are a must with heavy duty battery packs.
Most of the camera gear housings are anything from plastic tool boxes to mail boxes. In April Mike set up his first remote. We set up the day before so the cameras will sit out as long as twenty-four hours until the launch. Good batteries are key, but keeping the gear to temperature is just as important. A foggy mirror doesn’t take a good picture. Is a fancy set up important? No many just use camera bags to protect from the blast smoke and weather.
DSF … “Hey man look at all those fancy boxes and gear”
Mike … “Yeah, I probably should work on that next”
DSF … “What are you using today?”
Mike … ” I brought a trash bag. We’ll see what happens”
DSF … “Epic!”
April’s 2019 launch Mike didn’t get anything, but learned a lot about placement and wind. A lot of thought and planning goes into camera placement, and trial and error are your best teachers. Many of these photographers will help with questions, they have all been there. Check out John Kraus Photography, he takes some amazing shots. He is refining what he shoots after mastering the take off in full view. The man has some seriously dope shots! If you want to buy a killer rocket shot for your wall this is the place to look
Fast forward to the November 2019 launch and Mike’s set up nailed a shot, trash bag for the win. There are key things to consider, mainly what will the wind be like the next day, especially the direction. Because that governs where all that smoke is headed. If your camera is downwind you will get a picture of a dark cloud, if you are up wind you will get the launch. Seems simple right? well not really when we live on the water, everything changes constantly and what is predicted sometimes doesn’t happen. Sunday we will see, so far it is looking good but you know how the weather changes on Delmarva.
L-72 hour forecast
The latest weather forecast stands at 90% favorable for the scheduled launch Sunday, Feb. 9 of Northrop Grumman’s Antares rocket from Virginia Space’s Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia. At this time, cumulus clouds are the only weather concern being tracked for a launch attempt at 5:39 p.m. EST Sunday.
Probability of violation for launch (2/09/2020): 10%
Weather concern(s): Cumulus clouds
Probability of violation for launch (2/10/2020): 70%
Weather concern(s): Thick clouds, disturbed weather, cloud ceilings
NASA-TV and Other Information for Antares Launch from Wallops https://www.nasa.gov/wallops/2020/feature/nasa-tv-coverage-set-for-cygnus-launch-to-the-international-space-station