a little question about filming space travel

andrew markworthy

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Sep 30, 1999
Messages
4,762
If you've seen movies of the Apollo launches, you will have seen the shots of the rocket stages being jettisoned. There is one frequently-used shot of the separator ring being detached, and it falling lazily back towards Earth. My problem is this: it would appear that the only way some of these shots could have been taken would be if the camera was attached to a rocket stage which was subsequently jettisoned. So how was the camera recovered?
 

Julie K

Screenwriter
Joined
Dec 1, 2000
Messages
1,962
Yes, cameras can be mounted on the upper stages and the video is relayed through a radio link.
It's not just Apollo either. Most NASA launches have this feature and the video from recent missions has been very cool indeed. If mass margins allow, sometimes there are two cameras, one pointing backward and one pointing forward. The forward pointing one shows a most interesting view as the third stage spins up and then separates.
------------------
My DVDs
"Some people think I'm over-prepared, paranoid...maybe even a little crazy. But they never met any pre-Cambrian life forms, did they?"
 

Scott Strang

Screenwriter
Joined
May 28, 1999
Messages
1,146
I saw a rocket launch one Sat afternoon on Speedvision. The camera was indeed on the side of rocket.
It was amazing how quickly the back ground turned into a blue globe.
------------------
"What did Mr Spock see when he looked in the toilet? The Captain's Log."
Stolen from a BBS in 1985
 

Jeff Ulmer

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Aug 23, 1998
Messages
5,582
Those camaera shots usually have a highly grainy look to them, presumably from the radio link, however I was amazed by the clarity on Criterion's For All Mankind when it came to shots I'd seen a million times on TV.
------------------
Zardoz Online | Burt Lancaster is The Swimmer | DVD reviews at dOc
 

David Crawford

Auditioning
Joined
Jun 30, 1997
Messages
4
Andrew,
The shot you are talking about was taken on one of the early unmanned Saturn V rocket tests.
The camera was indeed mounted in the jettisoned stage, but the film cannister was ejected and recovered from the sea before the stage burnt up in re-entry.
It was pretty tricky to recover, and they weren't that hopeful they would find it quickly enough ... but they managed it.
Check out Andrew Chaikin's book 'Man On The Moon' for the most complete story of the entire Apollo program.
David
 

Forum Sponsors

Staff online

Forum statistics

Threads
344,898
Messages
4,724,022
Members
141,356
Latest member
gullfo