Watch a rocket booster blast like you've never before seen
NASA engineers designed a camera that can see through the bright flash of booster firepower.
This rocket blast clip wasn't produced in a Hollywood special effects lab. It was filmed by NASA's new High Dynamic Range Stereo X (HiDyRS-X) camera – a revolutionary high-speed, high dynamic range camera that can record propulsion video data in never-before-seen detail.
The HiDyRS-X project originated from a problem that exists when trying to film rocket motor tests.
Rocket motor plumes, in addition to being extremely loud, are also extremely bright, making them difficult to record without drastically cutting down the exposure settings on the camera. But doing so darkens the rest of the image, obscuring other important components on the motor.
Traditionally, video cameras record using one exposure at a time, but HiDyRS-X records multiple slow-motion video exposures at once, combining them into a high-dynamic range video that perfectly exposes all areas of the video image.
The footage above is of the Orbital ATK QM-2 solid rocket booster test last week. The booster is part of NASA's new Space Launch System.