49 votes
Accepted

How did NASA get the video camera on the Moon to track the LM ascent stage, considering the substantial delay?

A controller on Earth, Ed Fendell, manually operated the camera by radio control, knowing the time of liftoff and the ascent trajectory expected and referring to a time-and-angle chart without ...
Russell Borogove's user avatar
39 votes
Accepted

Why do the boot prints on the moon appear bright in some photographs or film?

If you take a good look at contrast between the boot print and the unaffected/untouched dust on the lunar surface the unaffected/untouched dust is loose, undulating and has a matt (or matte, in some ...
Fred's user avatar
  • 13.1k
38 votes
Accepted

How was it possible for the Apollo 11 to film and take pictures with such radiation?

The radiation dosage for a year on the moon is between 110 mSv and 380 mSv. On Earth, that dosage is 2.4 mSv, or higher, depending on where you are exactly. Bottom line, the few days in Lunar orbit ...
PearsonArtPhoto's user avatar
  • 121k
38 votes

How does SPACEX capture such images?

I have no first-hand knowledge of what was used for the SpaceX abort test, but the image in the question looks very similar to the tracking imagery from the AIRS-WAVE system on NASA's WB-57 planes. @...
Bob Jacobsen's user avatar
  • 12.7k
36 votes
Accepted

Does SpaceX use any of Falcon-9's camera data for engineering or status information, or are they "just for PR"?

A caveat about this answer: it's not about SpaceX directly, more about the use of self-inspection cameras in general across space and launch vehicles. It is used for engineering and status ...
Tristan's user avatar
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28 votes
Accepted

Why does the Curiosity rover camera image resolution have "milliradians" as a unit?

Let's have a look at a more technical and detailed description: https://an.rsl.wustl.edu/help/Content/About%20the%20mission/MSL/Instruments/MSL%20Navcam.htm The Navcam optics are f-theta fisheye ...
asdfex's user avatar
  • 15k
24 votes

Is the Curiosity rover equipped with motion detectors?

Most conventional motion detectors wouldn't work well on Mars. PIR: Usually only works well with warm bodies such as humans and animals. Would probably never trigger on Mars Ultrasonic: Due to the ...
Dragongeek's user avatar
  • 18.7k
21 votes

How was it possible for the Apollo 11 to film and take pictures with such radiation?

Radiation can affect film - but bear in mind the radiation around Chernobyl was, truly, extremely high. The radiation in our region of space is not as extreme. Also bear in mind that the earlier ...
Andy's user avatar
  • 5,178
20 votes
Accepted

Was the side booster footage from the same camera during the Falcon Heavy test flight stream?

The feeds were identical throughout the flight. It was definitely recorded from the same booster. At booster separation you can clearly see the shoreline. If it was the camera view from the other ...
Floern's user avatar
  • 1,479
20 votes
Accepted

Does the JWST have a camera to monitor its deployment progress?

As of now, it does not and that's not likely to change. I asked this question of leaders of the JWST project at Goddard Space Flight Center. It isn't that it wouldn't be useful, the problem is funds ...
Vince 49's user avatar
  • 2,611
20 votes
Accepted

Why were the SRB cameras looking down called "forward cameras"?

That's because the camera is on the forward end of the SRB. See the names of the two skirts, for instance.
Hobbes's user avatar
  • 128k
19 votes

Cine footage from Saturn V launches

The cameras were ejected from the stages and parachuted into the sea. If you watch this video you can see cameras being ejected from stages at exactly 5:00 and 7:42. There's also a good discussion ...
PeteBlackerThe3rd's user avatar
18 votes
Accepted

How is JunoCam different from a normal CCD camera?

JunoCam used different technologies than does the typical framing camera one buys at a store. A typical digital color camera uses a Bayer filter pattern, a row of alternating tiny blue and green ...
David Hammen's user avatar
  • 74.8k
18 votes

How was it possible for the Apollo 11 to film and take pictures with such radiation?

NASA studied the effects of radiation on film. Bright spots are just one of the possible results. Other effects include an increase in the amount of noise, and a decrease in contrast and color ...
Hobbes's user avatar
  • 128k
17 votes

Why does the Curiosity rover camera image resolution have "milliradians" as a unit?

When you specify resolution as a linear size, it becomes dependent on how far away the subject is. Curiosity's cameras take photos at varying distances, so you'd have to have a table with resolutions ...
Hobbes's user avatar
  • 128k
16 votes

Will the HiRes camera of the Chinese orbiter be capable of seeing the shadows of the landers and rovers on Mars?

Will the HiRes camera of the Chinese orbiter be capable of seeing the shadows of the US landers and rovers on Mars? tl;dr: Yes it can, IF it passes over one of them, and at the right time of day for ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
15 votes
Accepted

Why not a digital camera?

"With some modifications" for space environment is a time and money-intensive activity, at least if you want it to work. You'd need some serious justification for such a camera on a mission that is ...
Mark Adler's user avatar
  • 58.2k
15 votes

Does SpaceX use any of Falcon-9's camera data for engineering or status information, or are they "just for PR"?

There is value added. I was an operator of a satellite that had a video of the satellite being deployed. We were able to see from the video that the deployment was clean. I assume if nothing goes ...
PearsonArtPhoto's user avatar
  • 121k
14 votes
Accepted

Why is there a black donut in Perseverance's SkyCam? Is it always used to block the Sun? (sky cameras on Earth don't) How does it work?

The skycam is located inside the "black hole" in the middle of the Mars Environmental Dynamics Analyzer as shown in this picture by NASA/JPL: The full description of this instrument can be ...
asdfex's user avatar
  • 15k
13 votes

Cine footage from Saturn V launches

There were ejectable camera pods, here's a picture of one. Used on Saturn I-Bs and Saturn Vs through Apollo 8. Full writeup here, other good info here.
Organic Marble's user avatar
12 votes
Accepted

What did New Horizons photograph that was close enough to be out of focus?

According to this blog post, the artefact was caused by scattered light reflected off some element inside the telescope. The ghostly circular pupil image and the little dots that are moving around ...
toniedzwiedz's user avatar
11 votes
Accepted

Was an onboard camera during a rocket launch ever pointing to the side rather than down?

Most cameras on a rocket launch are there for a sound engineering reason. They look down at the engines of the rocket, or up to the second stage, or out to the solar panels, or down inside the ...
CuteKItty_pleaseStopBArking's user avatar
10 votes
Accepted

Have there been any other "camsats" besides Banxing-2?

In the early days of ISS, when they were building it with the shuttle, there was a soccer ball sized robot camera called AER Cam Sprint. NASA, public domain. Astronaut for scale They tested it ...
Johnny Robinson's user avatar
10 votes

How does Voyager take pictures in space?

Voyager's camera used a vidicon tube, which is sort of a vacuum tube precursor to a CCD. I don't 100% understand the principle, but the basic idea is that the image is captured on a photoconductive ...
Russell Borogove's user avatar
10 votes
Accepted

Where are cameras mounted on the 'Starman' payload of today's F-H launch?

There seem to be 3 on-car cameras, 2 of these are very clear from the "Starman in Red Roadster" post on Elon Musk's Instagram I've tried to highlight 3 of the Cameras, two of which (Hood and side ...
Edlothiad's user avatar
  • 2,137
10 votes

Why do the boot prints on the moon appear bright in some photographs or film?

Reflection Yes, as Fred points out, the boot prints act like crude mirrors. If you shine a flashlight at a mirror in a random direction, and place yourself at another random direction, the mirror will ...
Lawnmower Man's user avatar
9 votes
Accepted

Did Huygens take a picture of Cassini?

As far as I can tell, Huygens would not have been able to take a picture of Cassini. Huygen's camera was part of the Descent Imager/Spectral Radiometer instrument package. As seen in this cutaway ...
Phiteros's user avatar
  • 5,626
9 votes

How was it possible for the Apollo 11 to film and take pictures with such radiation?

NASA used special, temperature-resistant, radiation-proof film for their photos. That kind of film was not readily available in the Soviet Union - "not readily available" meaning the only rolls of ...
SF.'s user avatar
  • 55k
9 votes
Accepted

Will the Mars 2020 rover be able to record high-framerate video of its helicopter?

MASTCAM-Z uses the KAI-2020 sensor Sensor Data Sheet which can be read out at 18-35 Hz frame rate. The camera has 8 GB of flash memory that can be used to store video before it's trickled over to the ...
Terrance Yee's user avatar
  • 2,284

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