Category Archives: GRAIL

GRAIL moonshot launch

Shot the GRAIL moonshot Atlas launch this past weekend….well, actually I didn’t.

Let me explain. I set my remote camera’s out on Wednesday so that they would capture the launch on Thursday morning at 8:33. We are allowed to set cameras up the day before and have to leave them out until about 3 hours after the actual launch. NASA has to clear the pad and make sure the surrounding area is “Safe” before they let us back out to retrieve our gear.
Well, Thursday night it rained as hard as it has all year, and the gear got totally drenched.
I went out to the Press Site to shoot the launch with my 400 2.8 and a 70-200 on a Bogen Magic Arm… the weather didn’t cooperate though and the launch was scrubbed due to high winds about 3 miles up in the sky. NO GO!!
I was planning on going back out to shoot the launch Thursday morning but that was cancelled on Wednesday evening at 10:40…..and it rained as well.
Luckily I go a bit overboard and cover all of my gear with protective bags and such, due to the rain and dew.
Well, Friday came and a few of us, (those hanging in the media area) were allowed back out to check our remotes and clean our lenses.. Mine was ok but there were some cameras that didn’t fare too well…..the rain had damaged a few lenses and bodies.
Saturday came and the launch was expected to go at around 8:30 but that too was scrubbed due to weather. Though the sky was blue, those danged winds just wouldn’t quit, the second launch window was in jeopardy….
meanwhile, back in Orlando I was preparing to shoot my 400 on a cropped body with a 2x extender from my front porch. All in all it’s about 50 miles from my house and I wasn’t sure if I could even see the rocket through the building clouds.
Now, let me explain, I had made a deal with Alan Walters and Paul Hennessey to pick my gear up if I couldn’t make it to the actual launch on Saturday. I have been travelling a lot lately and needed to spend some time with my family. I decided to miss the launch with a backup plan in place……it seems to have worked.
Though I would have loved to have shot the launch in person, I gambled and took the chance that the remotes would cover me! I don’t recommend this to others who are on assignment, but in this case, I was over the moon!
To see more: log onto and search Grail Moonshot