The Remote Cameras Catch A Successful Antares Launch

Media access is always a blast at NASA, but remote access is out of this world.

On August 10, 2021 Northrop Grumman’s 16th commercial resupply mission was a successful launch of Antares carrying the Cygnus craft to the International Space Station. To boot, our remote gear had a successful capture of that launch, with all three cameras. It is always a nail biter for NASA on any launch, but for us remote gear nerds. Well we always wonder and worry. Pictures and video were successful.

northrop grunman, antares, cygnus, delaware surf fishing, wallops rocket chasers, nasa
Wallops Rocket Chasers we made our own logo. We can’t use the NASA “meatball” logo so we made our own. … meatball by Jon Reino

Cody Croswell nailed this launch and this was only his second attempt with remote cameras. I am so proud of him for working as hard as he has on this gear. Much like NASA there is zero room for error. Fortunately for us the last launch we attended, his first with remote access was last February. That launch was aborted several times. This allowed Cody to tweak his camera gear as many times and then some. Shock Collars, Bomb dogs and….. NASA? By … Cody Croswell

northrop grunman, antares, cygnus, delaware surf fishing, wallops rocket chasers, nasa
Wallops Rocket Chasers we made our own logo. We can’t use the NASA “meatball” logo so we made our own. … meatball by Jon Reino


It is a bit grueling for the remote camera folks, but we abide whatever NASA allows. We had access for everyone and all the Wallops Rocket Chaser nerds were in full swing. Then the covid restrictions really closed down access at the last minute. We had the choice of one out of two for my media team. It was a no brainer. Cody knows his gear.
I called him up …
Me … “You’re going to NASA to set remotes, we have two choices, remote access or media viewing. You and I have thousands of shots of a launching rocket. We have four of a remote shot. You are five by five, take the ball, and send it”!
Cody … “Dude are you sure?” (He isn’t asking, he is smiling ear to ear)
ME … “Absolutely, you know the gear and have been planning these shots and video for months”.
Cody … “You have any shot preferences”?
ME … “Don’t screw up, no pressure. Baaahaaahaahaaaa. Just nail it”


Cody is still smiling ear to ear, I can hear it over the phone. I know how difficult it is to get one good shot from a remote camera. He has three to contend with setting up. I know how much he has planned for this launch.
A still camera and two Go Pros in 4k. Setting these up twenty four plus hours ahead of launch time is difficult. Batteries, the bucket or clips, checking weather and winds for positions. Knowing Delmarva weather can change in fifteen minutes. Tidal wind shifts on the daily. Wind pushes the rocket blast and covers gear fast, you need to be upwind, but do you?
Every little detail is considered and second guessing a hundred times is normal. Your nerves are shot for the full twenty four hours. Up until you get to go back out after the launch to retrieve the gear. Then it is worse in anticipation.
I call Cody that day for setting remotes. Hey are you all good?
“Dude is that today? I totally forgot, I’m at work.”
I drop the phone
I’m kidding we are headed out now.”
Funny Guy! I need a new phone now too.

The gear is set, it has been second guessed thirty times, no one gets any real sleep.
Antares launches twenty six hours later.

northrop grunman, antares, cygnus, delaware surf fishing, wallops rocket chasers, nasa
Go Pros covered in Rocket Juice

Once Antares leaves the pad the gear can be retrieved. Not long after launch the pad is cleared and is checked by ground crews. Cody heads out with the rest of the remote camera folks and NASA guides. Nerves are shot, all you can do is hope. Still worrying about the stupid stuff, like what if a bird landed on the camera? Are there squirrels on Wallops?

I get a phone call about three hours after launch.

OMG!!!! You’re not going to believe this!! There is Rocket Juice all over the gear!
I’m freaking out thinking oh no, he toasted the cameras like a couple of burnt marshmallows. Maybe we just made a real meatball out of a Go Pro.

I get a text with a screen shot image.
I freak out.
Nope.
Cody NAILED IT!
Not one, but all three cameras were on point. Now he is going to have to try for more specific shots, just for grins and giggles. Some folks set multiple cameras to get just the engines at liftoff on the pad. Other photographers have their favorite shot to try for and master. The hard part is guessing the correct settings. You can’t just run out and hit a button, or ask NASA to do the launch over. So you have to tweak it for the next time and deal with the different conditions. Much like a snowflake pattern, no shot opportunity is ever the same. Follow the Wallops Rocket Chasers crew, there are some seriously talented people on our Facebook page from all over the planet. Possibly in space too.


Wallops Rocket Chaser
Rich King

  • northrop grunman, antares, cygnus, delaware surf fishing, wallops rocket chasers, nasa
  • northrop grunman, antares, cygnus, delaware surf fishing, wallops rocket chasers, nasa
  • northrop grunman, antares, cygnus, delaware surf fishing, wallops rocket chasers, nasa
  • northrop grunman, antares, cygnus, delaware surf fishing, wallops rocket chasers, nasa
  • northrop grunman, antares, cygnus, delaware surf fishing, wallops rocket chasers, nasa
  • northrop grunman, antares, cygnus, delaware surf fishing, wallops rocket chasers, nasa
  • northrop grunman, antares, cygnus, delaware surf fishing, wallops rocket chasers, nasa
  • northrop grunman, antares, cygnus, delaware surf fishing, wallops rocket chasers, nasa
  • northrop grunman, antares, cygnus, delaware surf fishing, wallops rocket chasers, nasa
  • northrop grunman, antares, cygnus, delaware surf fishing, wallops rocket chasers, nasa
  • northrop grunman, antares, cygnus, delaware surf fishing, wallops rocket chasers, nasa
  • northrop grunman, antares, cygnus, delaware surf fishing, wallops rocket chasers, nasa
  • northrop grunman, antares, cygnus, delaware surf fishing, wallops rocket chasers, nasa
  • northrop grunman, antares, cygnus, delaware surf fishing, wallops rocket chasers, nasa
  • northrop grunman, antares, cygnus, delaware surf fishing, wallops rocket chasers, nasa
  • northrop grunman, antares, cygnus, delaware surf fishing, wallops rocket chasers, nasa
  • northrop grunman, antares, cygnus, delaware surf fishing, wallops rocket chasers, nasa
  • northrop grunman, antares, cygnus, delaware surf fishing, wallops rocket chasers, nasa
  • northrop grunman, antares, cygnus, delaware surf fishing, wallops rocket chasers, nasa
  • northrop grunman, antares, cygnus, delaware surf fishing, wallops rocket chasers, nasa

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northrop grunman, antares, cygnus, delaware surf fishing, wallops rocket chasers, nasa
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Cody Croswell’s video compilation of Northrop Grumman’s 16th commercial resupply mission was a successful launch of Antares carrying the Cygnus craft to the International Space Station

Cody Croswell’s video of Northrop Grumman’s 16th commercial resupply mission was a successful launch of Antares carrying the Cygnus craft to the International Space Station

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