I remember TV coverage of rocket launches in the early 1960's when the Space Race was in its infancy.

The camera would follow the rocket as it lifted off, but it was (understandably) a little jerky, and as the camera switched to higher-power lenses, the jerkiness increased to the point where the rocket quickly passed through the field of view at the highest magnification.

Later, still relatively early in the space program, the rocket remained smoothly centered in the picture, even at the highest magnification. Clearly the TV camera movement was automated and not human-controlled.

Does anyone know the details of automating camera movement to follow the rocket?



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