SpaceX (flawlessly) performed their return-to-flight launch today out of Vandenberg AFB, a couple hours drive up the California coast. As much as I might have wanted to be there, that wasn’t going to happen. Instead, I had an alarm or two set on my phone and a few minutes before launch I broke away from my chores at the CAF and went out to the edge of the runway.
It’s 108 miles as the crow flies to Vandenberg from Camarillo. Given that, I was amazed at how easy it was to see the launch and follow it for about two minutes. (You probably have to click on the pictures to see them full sized – it wasn’t THAT huge.)
Starting to pick up a bit of contrail behind it.
Heading due south toward Antarctica and a polar orbit.
Cropped to show just the rocket and tail of flame.
One of these days I’m going to have to make the 3-hour drive up to catch one from much, much closer!