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Backstory: How to capture a Rocket

Credit: Reuters Studio
Published on May 2, 2019 - Duration: 00:05s

Backstory: How to capture a Rocket

How to capture a rocket: a wide variety of cameras and journalists wait for a police inspection before boarding the bus to deploy cameras at Launchpad 39A.

Rough cut - no reporter narration.

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Backstory: How to capture a Rocket

ROUGH CUT - NO REPORTER NARRATION "It's a challenge to describe that noise," says Reuters senior photographer Mike Blake, after witnessing his first rocket launch.

"It's a sound of rippling energy.

Reverberating, cracking.

It's something that stays with you." Blake worked with Joe Skipper, a veteran of more than 200 launches, to produce Reuters visual coverage of SpaceX out of Kennedy Space Center in Florida in March.

Apart from the visual thrill of a launch, readers want to know as much as possible about Elon Musk's SpaceX, which resupplies the International Space Station and ultimately aims to put people on other planets.

Providing images is key to capturing the drama of a launch and whether it is successful, with hundreds of millions of dollars at stake.

The next launch of the SpaceX Falcon 9 is scheduled for Friday, May 3.

The day before a launch slated for coverage, Skipper will assemble three or more freelance and staff photographers to set up 10 automatic cameras and associated gear on the perimeter of the launchpad.

NASA, which has run the Kennedy Space Center from Apollo missions in the late 1960s through the Space Shuttle era, takes photographers to a few select spots nearby where they can set up remote cameras with a view of the rocket, which is as tall as a 23-story building.

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