For NASA photographer Bill Ingalls, it can be updated to, "Even if your photos are good enough, and you're photographing at a safe distance, your camera might still be toast". The huge plume of fire from the rocket ignited vegetation - a common occurrence during such events - in the area where the camera was located and melted it into oblivion.
As said by the Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center, The launch of the GPS III as per the planned date "has slipped due to ongoing SpaceX qualification testing and final engineering reviews by both SpaceX and the Air Force of Falcon 9 design changes". "Seeing many like and share this, but misreporting that this camera was close to the pad".
The incident with the melted camera is being put down to unbelievably bad luck, particularly since the four other cameras that stood nearer the launchpad remained unharmed.
One weird fact: The melted camera was the furthest from SpaceX's launchpad set up by Ingalls.
NASA officials said the "toasty" camera (as Ingalls calls it) will eventually be placed on display at the agency's headquarters in Washington, D.C.
The photos from Ingalls' unlucky camera are reminiscent of those from another recent rocket launch in which an amateur photographer's camera lens was destroyed by the fury of an Atlas V rocket taking off from Cape Canaveral.
"I had many other cameras much closer to the pad than this and all are safe", Ingalls explains. He adds that a nearby fireman was able to extinguish the fire while it was happening but it was too late.
But when a SpaceX rocket launch sparks a brush fire that melts a NASA photographer's camera, it goes viral.
Photographers know that the delicate instruments that they use to capture photographs can succumb to the dangers of the job. It was the first solar eclipse to pass the continental United States since 1979. It turned out that proximity was not responsible for the damage.