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This Is How Crew Dragon’s Launch Looks Like in Ultra-Zoom, Slow-Motion Video

It’s been more than a week since SpaceX’s Crew Dragon went ahead and aced its in-flight abort test, opening the doors for the first launch of American astronauts from American soil in more than a decade, and it’s only now that the really good images are beginning to reach us.
Crew Dragon soaring to the sky on January 19 1 photo
Photo: @JimBridenstine/Twitter
On January 19, the Crew Dragon took off perched on top of a Falcon 9 rocket from the Launch Complex 39A. It ascended for 1.5 minutes before fiery blasts detached the capsule from the carrier rocket and sent it on its merry way, splashing down in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean.

As usual in such cases, dozens of cameras flocked to the Kennedy Space Center and its surroundings to capture the moment. Among them, a very special Zcam E2 controlled by means of joystick.

The camera was operated by the team at Cosmic Perspective, and was used to shoot the launch in slow-motion, at 120 fps, in 4K. What resulted can be seen in the video at the bottom of the page.

Cosmic Perspective says what we see in the video below has been shot in such a way that the crop factor is the equivalent of using a 5,000 mm zoom lens.

And that is plainly visible in the images posted this weekend, both in terms of detail and shaky hands. For the entire duration of the ascent, the Falcon 9 and Crew Dragon are clearly visible, down to the smallest of details. That’s when the craft is centered in the frame, that is.

Given the level of magnification, and despite having joystick control over the camera, the operator does lose sight of the rocket from time to time.

Even so, the entire experience is one you rarely come across.

Cosmic Perspective is a group of people dedicated to shooting rocket launches in ways never before attempted. The group is currently in the process of making a documentary short titled Guidance Internal: Lessons from Astronauts that ought to forever change the way in which we see space exploration.

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About the author: Daniel Patrascu
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Daniel loves writing (or so he claims), and he uses this skill to offer readers a "behind the scenes" look at the automotive industry. He also enjoys talking about space exploration and robots, because in his view the only way forward for humanity is away from this planet, in metal bodies.
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