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GoPro Footage Gives You A Rocket's-Eye View Of Spaceflight (gizmag.com) 80

Eloking quotes a report from Gizmag: Action cameras have been strapped to dogs, chainsaw-wielding drones and everything in between, but there's a new benchmark for homegrown heroes and their action-cam videos courtesy of UP Aerospace. Having strapped a GoPro HERO 4 to the outside of its SpaceLoft-10 sounding rocket, the company launched it into the thermosphere, gathering some footage that's simply out of this world along the way. The footage is incredible and begs the question: how did they fasten the cameras to a rocket traveling at 3,796 mph? You can watch the footage here on YouTube.
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GoPro Footage Gives You A Rocket's-Eye View Of Spaceflight

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  • by turkeydance ( 1266624 ) on Friday May 06, 2016 @06:23AM (#52059457)
    English judge voted for disqualification
    • by Roger W Moore ( 538166 ) on Friday May 06, 2016 @08:02AM (#52059851) Journal

      how did they fasten the cameras to a rocket traveling at 3,796 mph?

      I'm reasonably certain that they didn't. They attached it to the rocket while it was stationary.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Right after WWII they took footage on captured V2 rockets. This is hardly new or exciting.

  • Really? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Qbertino ( 265505 )

    So a rocket breack up into 4+ parts and 4 of those stay in 30 meter proximity to each other, floating in space? With the right angle for the go pro to film? ...
    It looks cool but I though at times it looks to good to be true. ... To sceptical I am?

    Your opinion please.

    • Re:Really? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by kkoo ( 4352157 ) on Friday May 06, 2016 @06:36AM (#52059511)
      Not floating but falling together on a ballistic trajectory, and since none of the sections have engines running nor any significant aerodynamic drag there's no reason for them to move quickly apart. Plus there are lots of cameras on the vehicle so they will pick up good views, and you're only seeing selected good bits not the many, many minutes of video where the cameras show nothing interesting.
    • I agree. Totally photoshopped and filmed on a soundstage.
    • So a rocket break up into 4+ parts and 4 of those stay in 30 meter proximity to each other, floating in space?

      What else would they do?

      With the right angle for the go pro to film?

      There was one shot with particularly fortuitous timing (catching the main body splitting at the right point during a rotation), but that's easily explained by the likely multiple attempts they did in order to create this GoPro ad.

    • It looks cool but I though at times it looks to good to be true.

      Actually you get a hint as to how they did it when they show a very brief clip of video at full speed in space and everything is spinning rapidly and its hard to see anything. So clearly these clips of things majestically floating there are slow motion and in reality each piece is spinning and tumbling rapidly on the edge of space before it falls back down to Earth.

    • So a rocket breack up into 4+ parts and 4 of those stay in 30 meter proximity to each other, floating in space?

      Yep. In the absence of aerodynamic forces, propulsion forces, or any other forces for that matter, what else would you expect them to do? You should go play some Kerbal Space Program so you get some better intuition about it.

      With the right angle for the go pro to film? ...

      What makes you think they used only one camera, or got the shot on the first try?

      To sceptical I am?

      "Skeptical" is not a verb an

    • My opinion is that they had many cameras and at least one of them captured the moment of separation.

  • manage to get them started? (wifi?) Did they have extra battery / external power source? More information please. Looks great bit TFA lacks all the REALLY interesting information. :)

    • They use an electronic ignitor to light the propellant. Yes, I AM a rocket scientist!
    • by dwywit ( 1109409 )

      Yes, GoPros have a smartphone app where you can control the camera and watch what it sees, as long as it's within wi-fi range. You can tap the "record" button at t-5 seconds and the camera will keep recording even when out of wi-fi range.

      They can also record (IIRC) around an hour on battery - I think it depends on what resolution and frame rate you select.

  • How does the pilot not get sick when the rocket spins like that? It made me motion sick just watching the video!
    • by OzPeter ( 195038 )

      How does the pilot not get sick when the rocket spins like that?

      Umm ..

      1) The pilot is knocked unconscious by the high launch forces, so never sees anything?
      2) The pilot spends hours and hours training on a merry-go-round?
      3) The pilot doesn't directly look out the window. Instead he/she watches the video after they de-spin it?
      4) The pilot spent man-hours training on FPS video games?
      5) or maybe because there is no pilot?

      • Probably all of the above!
      • by Anonymous Coward

        Or in this case, when it was spinning very quickly, I'm moderately sure the video was playing in fast forward and not actually spinning all that quickly. Later in the video it stopped spinning so quickly and without any sort of engine to stop it spinning, it would have continued.

    • The pilot is seated on a centrifuge rotating the opposite direction at the same rate.

    • by dwywit ( 1109409 )

      I wondered about that.

      1. Wouldn't that rate of spin cause problems? I assume this rocket isn't quite as fragile as the recent Japanese satellite, which tore itself apart due to spinning at 78RPM instead of 33.

      2. I thought the stabilisers/fins were there to stop that kind of thing?

      • Spin is a simple method of stabilizing a rocket by gyroscopic forces (conservation of angular momentum), if the craft and payload are able to withstand and perform as intended while spinning. It works for rifle bullets, where the projectile is spun up by spiral grooves in the gun barrel. It is very simple and robust; in a model rocket you just mount the fins at a slight angle tilted off the axis of the rocket body.
  • . . . is not how they affixed the cameras to the rocket and RV.

    What *I* would like to know is how they protected the cameras. Because the drag and heating effects of a ~3800 mph slipstream are going to be noticeable. After all, the leading edges of SR-71s expand substantially, and have been reported to glow from air-friction induced heating. . .and a Blackbird tops out at 2200 mph.

    THOSE details would be far more interesting. . .

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      I agree. It totally begs the question.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      Mostly time. Blackbird has heat expansion issues because it flies in atmosphere at 2200mph for a long time. The rocket may have peaked at 3600mph, but you only get seconds of that before the atmosphere is too thin to cause much heating.

      Watch old manned launch videos and listen for the term "Max Q". That's the point where atmospheric drag is at its highest (factoring in acceleration and atmospheric density), and it's surprisingly early.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Or watch the recent video of the Falcon 9 launch [youtube.com]. Max Q is reached about 1:24 after launch at 1900 km/h, 14km altitude. This is about the same altitude as the Apollo missions and a little bit later than the space shuttle, which reached Max Q at about 11km altitude.

      • by PPH ( 736903 )

        but you only get seconds of that

        Maybe. On the other hand, during the development of the VT Fuse [wikipedia.org], the heating due to the shell's short flight was sufficient to melt the solder connection to the antenna in the nose cap. Until high temp solder was used.

        I think the solution (as others have pointed out) is that the GoPros are mounted inside the rocket casing, looking out through high temp windows.

    • I kind of assumed the go-pro was mounted inside the rocket aimed through a quartz window towards a very small angled mirror, itself protected by a small faring, to see down the side of the ship. that way there would be minimal additional drag. At least that is how I would do it.
    • What *I* would like to know is how they protected the cameras. Because the drag and heating effects of a ~3800 mph slipstream are going to be noticeable.

      Not sure about the heating effect but did you notice the temperature gauge? It bottomed out at -453F. Less than 7 degrees above absolute zero. I would be highly suspect of the gopro being able to handle that low of temperature. I can't imagine the battery, the electronics, or even the plastic being able to survive that.

      • It didn't appear to be "in space" very long, and as convection heat loss drops along with the pressure and density of the atmosphere, the inside of the rocket should stay plenty warm for it's brief duration up there.
      • A -453F temperature is only a problem at higher pressures, when there's lots of stuff (air) at that temperature to carry heat away. In a thin or non-existent atmosphere, the outside temperature may be that low, but the rate of heat loss is near zero because there just isn't enough air to conduct heat away. The problem spacecraft have is actually cooling their electronics. Usually it's sent via heat pipes to radiator fins or panels [wikipedia.org], where it's rejected as EM (infrared) radiation.
      • A -453F reading, unless you went to great cryogenic pains, means your temperature gauge is either broken or being used under conditions where it doesn't work. The atmosphere never gets below about -130F, and by the time it gets that cold, it's so thin that it has very little impact on the temperature of big solid objects. At that point, objects interact thermally with the outside world entirely by radiation, which is a very slow way to reach low temperatures. Not to mention the flight was in sunlight and
    • . . . is not how they affixed the cameras to the rocket and RV.

      What *I* would like to know is how they protected the cameras. Because the drag and heating effects of a ~3800 mph slipstream are going to be noticeable. After all, the leading edges of SR-71s expand substantially, and have been reported to glow from air-friction induced heating. . .and a Blackbird tops out at 2200 mph.

      THOSE details would be far more interesting. . .

      I don't know how they did it, but an educated guess, based on other soun

    • Camera is inside the rocket facing a small downward pointing mirror.
    • They put the cameras inside the rocket, pointed out a port in the side of the rocket tube. Just outside the port there is a small mirror angled at 45 degrees. The mirror is aerodynamically protected. In the shot at 1:50 in the video when two rocket sections separate you can see some of the mirror housings, they are the little blue smooth bumps sticking out the side.

  • how did they fasten the cameras to a rocket traveling at 3,796 mph?

    They didn't. They used a bit of foresight and attached the camera before the launch,when it was stationary.

  • Would be the roller coaster pulling its stock price.
  • My question is why (how) does the rocket suddenly stop spinning at the top of it's flight?

    • While it's hard to tell how fast it's actually spinning because they keep messing with the playback speed, most payloads don't want to operate while spinning as fast as is required for stabilizing the rocket. They generally use yo-yo de-spin [wikipedia.org] or RCS to reduce the roll rate.
  • Hmm, ads disabled, check.
    Hmm, article listed as paid story, no. So it should be safe to read - oh, wait, it's a blatant slashvertisement with a link to a GoPro ad video? Whaaat?

          I love being monetized.

  • I sure wish I can just watch one camera footage uninterrupted from start to finish instead of constantly jumping from one camera to another, jumping ahead (ok I get it, they have to fit it all in a 3 minute youtube vid). Even NASA does this with virtually all the footage they post but occasionally you can find the raw footage and watch it in entirety. Yes, it takes longer but let me piss away my time please.
  • But seriously, even after watching this video, flat earth "truthers" will probably come up with some excuse.

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