101X Zoom Lens Used to Tape Launch of SpaceShipOne

When SpaceShipOne, the first privately funded and built space vehicle was launched, the event was captured live by the Science Channel using a Fujinon . 101X telephoto zoom lens, and recorded in 24p video. The lens has a precision focus assist system and image stabilization--both of which would seem to be necessary to acquire and track a space ship launch from the ground, using such a lens.

The field of view of a 101X lens must necessarily be very small, which aggravates the effects of small movements on the lens. People who use binoculars or high-magnification telephoto lenses know that it is quite difficult to successfully hand-hold optical systems with more than 10X magnification. The 101X lens must have been on a mount, but just acquiring and tracking a distant object with a lens of such magnification is without a doubt very difficult. The result, a relatively close look at a launching spacecraft, would be an impressive viewing experience for the HD viewer.