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NASA's New Camera Boasts Impressive Hollywood Like Effects

Aug 09, 2016 02:13 AM EDT
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Apparently, Hollywood's camera effect has made its way to NASA. The agency created a camera able to film booming rocket engines in slow motion. Yet, for what use exactly is the camera made by NASA?

The camera is called High Dynamic Range Stereo X, also called HiDyRS-X. Footage of NASA's Space Launch System rocket using the HiDyRS-X was released last week. In the three-minute clip, the camera was able to capture multiple exposures at a time compared to other high-speed cameras. The video released was quite crisp and detailed that one would mistake it for a Hollywood CGI film.

HiDyRS-X makes it possible to see details of the fiery plume from the space rocket. Unlike other cameras created by NASA, the HiDyRS-X did not have trouble adjusting its exposure to an intense, overexposed jet of fire.

"'I was amazed to see the ground support mirror bracket tumbling and the vortices shedding in the plume. I was able to clearly see the exhaust plume, nozzle and the nozzle fabric go through its gimbaling patterns, which is an expected condition, but usually unobservable in slow motion or normal playback rates," stated Howard Conyers, structural dynamist at NASA's Stennis Space Center.

Thanks to the high-definition video which showed off the rocket boosters of NASA's rocket, Conyers spotted failures with the current Space Launch System. One of the failures noted was that the automatic timer of the camera failed to go off. Thus, the team was unable to capture footage of the rocket igniting.

However, the video is proof enough that the HiDyRS-X indeed works. In addition, the failures noted would be worked on before the SLS test flight set for 2018.

"Failure during testing of the camera is the opportunity to get smarter," explained Conyers, adding, "Without failure, technology and innovation is not possible."

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