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'[OT] Close-up of a rocket launch - for the Rocket '
Here's one for Russell and the other rocketry fans.... From NASA (Be
warned, it is a 2.5Meg download).
I Bet you would want to be that close to a launch!!!!
The image description contains the text: "The Soyuz TMA-9 spacecraft
launches from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan Sept. 18, 2006
carrying a new crew to the International Space Station. The Soyuz lifted
off at 10:09 a.m. Baikonur time with Expedition 14 Commander Michael
Lopez-Alegria, Soyuz Commander and Expedition Flight Engineer Mikhail
Tyurin and American businesswoman Anousheh Ansari, who will spend nine
days on the station under a commercial agreement with the Russian
Federal Space Agency. Photo Credit: "NASA/Bill Ingalls"
I got pointed to it because it was taken with a Nikon camera.... yet, it
captures a remarkable scene.
being from NASA I presume that there was no image manipulation, though I
can't find any details on this image other than the image itself.
Alan B. Pearce
> I Bet you would want to be that close to a launch!!!!
One of my colleagues went to a Russian launch, which AIUI used an ICBM type
launch vehicle. They were only about 750 metres from the launch pad in their
I imagine the one at Kazakhstan is a bit further away, he was somewhere
north of Moscow for his one, as it was a polar orbit.
On 9/29/06, Alan B. Pearce <rl.ac.uk> wrote: A.B.Pearce
> > I Bet you would want to be that close to a launch!!!!
Telephoto lenses make everything look much closer to each other than it
David VanHorn wrote:
> On 9/29/06, Alan B. Pearce <rl.ac.uk> wrote: A.B.Pearce
>>> I Bet you would want to be that close to a launch!!!!
> Telephoto lenses make everything look much closer to each other than it
> really is.
I did the math....
As far as I can tell the Soyuz TPM-9 was about 200feet tall (this was
really hard information to find, and is the sum of the lengths of the
various rocket stages I could find... Stage 1, 2, 3 are 64, 91, and 22
feet respectively. The command module is 7 meters, or 22 feet as well),
and I'll guess that the person in the photo is 6feet tall. This creates
a size/height ratio of about 34:1. Using Gimp, I get the soyuz rocket to
be about 2180 pixels, and the person to be about 230 pixels, giving a
ratio of about 9.5:1
Based on this, the person is about 1/3rd the way between the
photogropher, and the rocket.
Given that the the lens used was a 300mm f2.8 lens, (I presume this
) and the D2X camera has a DX sensor (1.5 crop factor), the
field-of-view will be 5.3degrees.
Again, back to the picture, the rocket is 200' and 2180 pixels. The full
frame is 3216 pixels (the "Medium" image size from the D2X sensor).
Thus, the full-frame height at the distance of the rocket from the
camera is about 200 x (3216/2180) = 295 feet. Using trig, this gives
the distance to the rocket as about..... tan 5.3 = 295/x thus x =
295/(tan 5.3) thus the distance to the rocket is about 3200 feet, or
Doing the same math on the person, instead of the rocket, the person
6' and 230 pixels in a frame of 3216 pixels means the full frame height
at the distance of the man must be about 84', which, at the
field-of-view of 5.3deg is 905 feet from the camera... or 2300 feet
from the rocket, or 700 meters....
700 meters is far more than the image depicts, but it is probably a lot
especially when taken in combination with the following video's I saw
earlier that show that the launch pad is in a slight depression, and the
person in the photo must be near the crest of the edge of the "bowl".
Still, imagine being 700m from the launch of a rocket like that.... very
cool, but the photo is even cooler... ;-)
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