New NASA camera captures unreal images


It looks like something out of a low-budget sci-fi flick - but a new camera used to film a rocket test is anything but.

Footage from NASA's new video camera looks a bit unreal because it's the combination of several exposures shot at the same time.

The video was filmed during a spectacular test for the Space Launch System booster in Utah.

During the test, flames shot out of the booster three times faster than the speed of sound, reaching more than 33,000degC.

New NASA camera captures unreal images

The test without using HiDyRS-X camera (NASA)

NASA's High Dynamic Range Stereo X (HiDyRS-X) was tested at the same time.

Normally booster tests are so bright that they're difficult to record - either they end up overexposed and detail can't be picked out, or underexposed and too dark.

But as incredible as these new pictures are, NASA says the camera didn't actually work as planned.

New NASA camera captures unreal images

The test using HiDyRS-X camera (NASA)

The automatic timer failed to go off when the booster test started, before the ground shook so much the power was disconnected.

NASA structural dynamist Howard Conyers says he was "bummed" by the failures.

"Especially because we did not experience any failures during the dry runs."

But Mr Conyers is looking on the bright side.

"Failure during testing of the camera is the opportunity to get smarter," he says.

"Without failure, technology and innovation is not possible."

Work is underway on a second HiDyRS-X prototype.