AmericaSpace Exclusive: Stunning Video From Recent MUOS-1 Launch


Excluding the “countdown” audio and music score during the second launch video – all the elements of this presentation were produced by AmericaSpace and its affiliates. Alan Walters, Mike Killian, Jason Rhian, Matt Gaetjens as well as Mike Barrett & Jeff Seibert with and Lloyd Behrendt with Blue Sawtooth Studios contributed to make this presentation possible.

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla – AmericaSpace has been working for months to get video from the launch pads of Cape Canaveral Air Force Station to show the world the wonder of launch. It is not an easy task. The timers will activate the cameras one way or another. If there are slips or scrubs? You get a ton of video showing a pretty rocket sitting on the pad venting excess fuel.

Everything has to go just right. The angle has to be right and the type of equipment one uses – can wreak havoc on whether-or-not you get the “prize” – precious video and audio showing a launch vehicle thundering off of the launch pad. AmericaSpace has been to get everything just right. For the launch of a United Launch Alliance Atlas V 551 rocket with its U.S. Navy Mobile User Objective System-1 or MUOS-1 communications satellite – everything gelled.

This was in large part thanks to the patience of Alan Walters and the assistance of Mike Barrett and Jeff Seibert of Like Blue Sawtooth Studios, Wired4Space has opted to work collaboratively with AmericaSpace – and the results can be seen in this video package.

Video is not the entire picture however. Primarily, most media outlets set up still camera remotes to capture the launch. AmericaSpace is no different. Alan Walters, Mike Killian and Seibert all put remotes into place. Still remotes, like their video cousins, can be tricky beasts. But they have quirks all their own.

Generally still remotes are activated by sound or light (primarily sound) which, given how much noise and light a rocket launch makes, this seems ideal. These triggers can be too sensitive, being set off by wind – and filling the camera’s memory card with tons of pictures of the launch vehicle on the pad. Or? They can be not sensitive enough and even a rocket going off right in front of it – isn’t enough to activate them. Florida’s turbulent weather also can wreak havoc on cameras that sit exposed along Florida’s Space Coast.

Setting up remote video and still cameras is a gamble and just because you get it right once – does not mean that you will get the same result next time. Time-and-again professionals meet with frustration as they chase rockets. Then? There is that one time when everything works out perfectly – and it is all worth it. For the crew at AmericaSpace and its affiliates MUOS-1 was a “picture-perfect” launch.

The dynamic duo of Mike Killian (kneeling) and Alan Walters during remote camera setup - the day before the launch of the U.S. Navy's MUOS-1 satellite atop a United Launch Alliance Atlas V 551 rocket. It was at this event - that everything gelled for the AmericaSpace team - and stunning video imagery was obtained from the launch pad. Photo Credit: Jason Rhian
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