This is one of my favorites from this weekend’s SpaceX launch.

i was covering SpaceX’s first launch from launch complex 39A on Sunday for Ars Technica. I setup 4 remote cameras on the launch pad.

Unfortunately, only 2 of the 4 went off and took photos successfully but I will  figure out why they did not fire so that the issue doesn’t repeat itself for the next launch.

That’s what it’s all about. Mistakes are ok, as long as you don’t make them twice.

This camera specifically was framed up at the top end of the FSS (fixed service structure)


hi-res/prints: photos.tmahlmann.com

What is very cool about the FSS is that it was used both in the Apollo and Shuttle eras.


Shown above is the Apollo 11 Saturn V. The FSS as it is seen today is the upper rectangular portion of that tower.

The angled portion at the bottom was cut off and thrown away. The rectangular portion from there on up was cut and placed permanently as the “fixed” service structure on pad 39A and is still seen there today.

What is my favorite part about this photo that I captured this weekend, is the history behind it.

Old FSS, old Apollo and shuttle era pad, new Falcon and new exhaust tail rocketing by as Dragon heads to the ISS.


hi-res/prints: photos.tmahlmann.com

Thanks for reading. See you tomorrow for another photo story!

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