A new type of camera developed NASA can show rocket engines in unbelievable detail.
An incredible new camera designed by NASA to film rocket tests is ready for action, and it’s been used to film the test of one rocket engine in Utah. It’s an amazing bit of footage that previously wasn’t possible to get because it has been impossible for regular cameras to capture something that bright.
It’s called the High Dynamic Range Stereo X (HiDyRS-X) project, and it uses an ultra high speed, high dynamic range camera allowing rocket tests to be filmed in unprecedented detail, according to a NASA statement. The video below is of a test of the Qualification Motor 2 at a facility in Utah.
The video shows things that scientists wouldn’t have been able to see before, like the exhaust plume and the nozzle operating, which is usually totally unobservable on normal playback.
NASA is also building another camera that will have an even higher dynamic range. The agency will continue to test the current one.
“The massive booster test served as a rare opportunity to test the HiDyRS-X hardware in a full-scale environment,” the statement reads. “The Qualification Motor 2, or QM-2, test was held at Orbital ATK’s test facility in Promontory, Utah, and was the second and final booster test before SLS’s first test flight in late 2018. SLS will be the most powerful rocket in the world, and will take our astronauts farther into deep space than ever before.”