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Convergent Design Odyssey
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Old May 12th, 2010, 04:37 AM   #31
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I'm keeping my fingers crossed for your shoot, Dan (and for the NASA space program - now, and in the future:)).

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Old May 12th, 2010, 09:43 AM   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Job View Post
...Hi Chris: I'm glad that at least they won't scrap the shuttles. If something goes very wrong with the International space station, then they'll need something to get back up there fast.
If something goes very wrong with the International Space Station, there are always two Soyuz "lifeboats" which can be used for immediate evacuation and safe return of the entire 6-person crew back to the ground. These vehicles are switched out regularly with the arrival and departure of new crew members.

With the conclusion of the space shuttle program (barring any last-minute extensions -- one option is to have Atlantis fly one more ISS servicing mission next year), the retirement of the space shuttle fleet means that the only way for crew members to get to the ISS is via the (barely) 3-person Soyuz spacecraft. The forthcoming end of the shuttle flights means there will be no capability for bringing things from ISS back down to Earth (the Soyuz crew module is much too small for carrying anything other than three people wedged inside).

My apologies for hijacking Dan's thread and continuing off topic.
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Old May 12th, 2010, 11:13 AM   #33
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NASA will need something big

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Originally Posted by Chris Hurd View Post
The forthcoming end of the shuttle flights means there will be no capability for bringing things from ISS back down to Earth (the Soyuz crew module is much too small for carrying anything other than three people wedged inside).
....Nasa will still need to take up and bring down equipment at some point. I suppose once you have everything you need at the space station, then the tests results just get transmitted up and down remotely.
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My apologies for hijacking Dan's thread and continuing off topic.
...Mine too Dan.
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Old May 12th, 2010, 05:26 PM   #34
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Just briefly: currently there are three vehicles, all unmanned, that provide one-way cargo lift capability for delivering supplies on orbit to ISS. They are the Russian Progress, the European ATV and the Japanese HTV spacecraft. What will be missing after the conclusion of the NASA space shuttle program is cargo return capability for bringing things back to Earth from ISS. Soyuz can return people but not cargo.
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Old May 12th, 2010, 09:22 PM   #35
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What About Waste Disposal ?

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Originally Posted by Chris Hurd View Post
Just briefly: currently there are three vehicles, all unmanned, that provide one-way cargo lift capability for delivering supplies on orbit to ISS. They are the Russian Progress, the European ATV and the Japanese HTV spacecraft. What will be missing after the conclusion of the NASA space shuttle program is cargo return capability for bringing things back to Earth from ISS. Soyuz can return people but not cargo.
....Hey Chris: What about garbage collection and disposal ? If no cargo can go down, then how do they deal with waste articles ?
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Old May 16th, 2010, 09:34 AM   #36
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Dear Friends,

We returned last night from a very successful trip to the Kennedy Space Center.

On Thrusday, we met with our contacts at United Space Alliance, prepared the equipment for the launch of Atlantis on Friday, then went to the LCC (Launch Control Complex) to select two of NASA's ground based cameras to record with the nanoFlash.

Our NASA contact and our United Space Alliance contacts appeared very impressed with the quality of the nanoFlash. We shot I-Frame Only at 220 Mbps on all nanoFlashes. During setup and test we were switching between a live image of the shuttle and an image recorded a minute earlier. They could not detect any defects in the recorded image, nor guess which was live or recorded.

We choose two great camera's to use, then setup a nanoFlash on each feed. One nanoFlash was located inside the VAB (Vehicle Assembly Building) and one in the LCC.

On Friday, we met our contacts and proceeded to setup three cameras on the roof of the VAB.

We used:

1. A Sony EX3, with a Canon J22 Lens, and a polarizer, on a Sachtler tripod. This complete setup was loaned to us by a very generous DVInfo.net member.

2. A Canon XL H1, with the 20x lens, Image Stabilization On, with a nanoFlash. The camera was on manual focus and I did not zoom during the launch. If I remember correctly I was close to full zoom, with 1/32 ND filter activated. I was on 6.5 F-Stop (and it was slightly hot at this setting).

3. A very nice Toshiba HD POV camrea with a Nikon xx to 300 mm zoom lens, with a C-Mount adapter. We setup this camera for automatic white balance and auto exposure as we had our hands full.

The XL H1 and Toshiba were mounted on an aluminum bar, then attached to a very stable Sachtler tripod.

Just before the launch we aligned both cameras.

We used a very nice Panasonic portable monitor to setup both cameras. We used a thick black cloth over the monitor and our heads, in order to view the monitor in the extremely bright sunlight. The roof of the VAB is bright white (with a touch of gray)

We were delayed getting to the roof of the VAB; we arrived on the roof about 1 hour before launch.

We had quite a bit of wind, so we choose a site with a little wind protection. I checked if the stabilization helped or not, and it did, so I used it for the launch, contrary to normal procedure when one is on a tripod.

But, we were on a building 525 feet high, with about 8 acres of roof, that moves in the wind.

We were fully setup, with camera's aligned, etc. just before launch. We started rolling about two minutes before ignition.

During the launch our host from United Space Alliance operated the EX3/nanoFlash. I tracked the vehicle using the viewfinder of the XL H1.

The Nikon 300mm Zoom lens on the Toshiba camera was setup initially set to about 135mm. We wanted a slighly wider view in case I lost the vehicle while tracking it with the tighter zoomed XL H1.

Rick Kelly, of nanoFlash.net, was monitoring tracking on the Panasonic Monitor while I tracked the vehicle with the XL H1. During the flight Rick zoomed in (Toshiba POV/Nikon Lens).

The vibration of the VAB that we felt during the launch was quite severe. I was worried that I was going to lose tracking.

I was warned, in advance, that we would almost have to shoot vertical during the launch.
I was prepared, but I was surprised that after going almost vertical, I had to come back down to track the vehicle.

We brought 5 nanoFlashes with us for this shoot.

After selecting the desired NASA cameras to record, we had a little drama. The cameras were re-orientied just before the launch, to the consternation of the person operating the nanoFlashes.

We wound up with two great shots, just not the ones we expected.

We wound up with a very nice close-up tracking shot of the shuttle on one nanoFlash.

On the other we had an outstanding view, from the tower, looking straight down at the shuttle.

When we played back the images, we saw the vehicle, then the water spray, then ignition of the main engines, the ignition of the solid rocket boosters, then the sway (tilt) of the vehicle, then liftoff,

The vehcile flew past the camera, then the SRB exhaust plume blacked out the view. When the smoke cleared, we had a birds-eye view of the pad.

We will post the images, on this site, as soon as possible.

Chris Hurd and his wife Kelly were also at the cape. He captured some wonderful still images with his camera, all of the way up to and including SRB separation.

We ended a very memorial day by having dinner with Chris and Kelly.
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Old May 16th, 2010, 06:37 PM   #37
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Great News Dan :-)

Hi Dan:
I'm sure the XL H1 footage looks stunning. I look forward to seeing you post a sequence on Vimeo or YouTube soon. Glad to know all went well for the shoot. :-)
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Old May 16th, 2010, 07:11 PM   #38
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Dear Mark,

I look forward to posting the video.

I do not have it at this moment, as soon as I get it, cut it, and get it uploaded, I will post it.

It was a huge relief for me that I was able to track the vehicle. The vibration from the launch, since we were only 3.3 miles away was quite extreme.

I have not checked the footage in detail, I am assuming that there are some problems, but overall I was very relieved.

We shot all of the video, in Quicktime, I-Frame Only, at 220 Mbps.
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Old May 16th, 2010, 07:35 PM   #39
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Footage Must Look Amazing !

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan Keaton View Post
Dear Mark,

I look forward to posting the video.

We shot all of the video, in Quicktime, I-Frame Only, at 220 Mbps.
....Hi Dan: Wow ! it must look reeeeeeaaalyyyy clean @ this data rate ! I frame Nano/XDR codec type of QT can now be edited in Avid Media Composer as well as FCP (Finally for Avid !) Now if we could get dear Avid to turn on AMA for the general Sony XDCAM HD 4:2:2 codec recorded on anything instead of only if it's sitting on the XDCAM Discs, then there is finally no clip based post workflow limitations for the Nano/XDR to anything ! I would think by now there is no television network in North America which would not be able to accept Nano/XDR footage for just about anything. Dan, what's the word on official support from all the big 5 US networks to date ? By big 5 I mean NBC, CBS, ABC, Discovery, and HBO.
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Old May 16th, 2010, 09:26 PM   #40
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Dear Mark,

I know that National Geographic, NBC, CBS, BBC, Sky HD, and Discovery have used our footage.

NBC uses it on a regular basis. The nanoFlash is used for Trauma on NBC-Universal, at least for Steadicam shots, maybe more. Southland used the Flash XDR for in-car shots.

CBS College Sports uses it for some things, but I do not know how much it has been used for acquisition. I understand that 60 Minutes segments have used the nanoFlash.

BBC is actively using our footage. BBC has specifically approved the nanoFlash. In fact, for underwater footage, with a specific Gates housing, and an EX1/EX3, it is approved for 100% of the content. I do not know the exact approval for other types of shooting. Major upcoming productions will be using the nanoFlash.

National Geographic has approved the use of our footage and have used it successfully.

Discovery Canada has used our footage.

I have no specific knowledge about Discovery channel (as opposed to Discovery Canada).

All of the above represent my best knowledge at this moment. I am not in a position to provide an exhaustive list.
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Old May 16th, 2010, 09:39 PM   #41
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The Nano Flash & XDR Are Out There !

Hi Dan:
Yeah, I know Discovery Canada bought a load of Flash XDR's for Cash Cab and some of their other productions. I don't know if they have any Nano Flashes yet. I think TV shows like 60 Minutes & National Geographic are as high profile as they come. I would think those shows would make it pretty hard for others to turn away Nano or XDR footage if it's good enough for these programs.
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Old May 17th, 2010, 09:26 AM   #42
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Hi Dan, it was terrific to see you and Rick after such an awesome launch. I'll follow up with you once we return to Texas tomorrow night. Thanks for meeting us in Titusville!
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Old May 17th, 2010, 02:01 PM   #43
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Dear Dan,
Congratulations on the successful launch/video recording!! Looking forward to that material as a pictures/video.
On other note, National Film Board of Canada has used NF on our trip to India!
Cheers
Luben
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Old May 17th, 2010, 02:46 PM   #44
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Dan,
Congrats on a successful launch!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan Keaton View Post
We had quite a bit of wind, so we choose a site with a little wind protection. I checked if the stabilization helped or not, and it did, so I used it for the launch, contrary to normal procedure when one is on a tripod.
I always have stabilization ON when outdoors, even on a tripod. People theorize that you wouldn't be able to track properly with it on, but until you use it as you did in a real life situation, stabilization on helps a whole lot more than it hurts.
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