That’s not a camera…THIS is a camera

SpaceDaily: Kennedy Space Center’s new “eyes” to closely track future shuttle launches

The equipment that photographs space shuttle launches has been seriously upgraded, both in quantity and in quality. 10 additional cameras are now in place along with the 13 that have been used previously.

With the addition of the equipment, NASA is hoping to get continuous usable images of the shuttle from at least three angles from the moment of takeoff to the separation of its two booster rockets, Robert Page, head of Kennedy’s image center, told AFP.

“We need to insure three views on each side of the shuttle, so I’ll have five cameras on each side to make sure we have three good ones,” he said.

“We need to provide views of the space shuttle from liftoff to at least SRB (solid rocket boosters) separation.”

NASA will also use high-definition digital cameras alongside traditional film cameras. Although the digital images aren’t a clear as those from film, they can be examined immediately, as opposed to waiting for processing for more than 24 hours.

The long-range cameras, used to track the shuttle out to T+165 seconds, have 10,000mm lenses.