SpaceX launched it first Falcon 9 in quite a while out of Vandenberg tonight. Vandenberg’s about 125 miles to the northwest from where I am in Los Angeles, up on the Central California Coast.
There have been some FREAKIN’ SPECTACULAR launches out of Vandyland as seen from LA, particularly when they happen just after sunset and the huge clouds of gas from the rocket catch the fading sunlight…
Tonight’s launch was a little bit later than sunset, so it wasn’t clear what we would see. But what the heck, eh? Let’s get out one of the good video cameras instead of the iPhone, set it up on a tripod…
The audio you hear from SpaceX’s launch webcast is lagging by about 30 seconds behind what’s really happening. So you see the rocket start to come over the horizon behind the mountains to our west and climb toward main engine cut off (MECO). There are a couple of spots where you see it “blank out” for half a second – that’s it going behind the palm trees across the street.
While this video stops after MECO, with binoculars I could watch the second stage go all the way to the southern horizon, by which time it was well to the south of us, probably way down off of Baja.
Next, it’s time to go see a launch. The ULA and NOAA are launching an Atlas V with Landsat 9 soon – it was supposed to be September 12th (good thing it moved back, I’m still swamped), then September 16th (still swamped), and now NET (No Earlier Than) September 23rd (I won’t be swamped!). We’ll see if I can sneak away for a day. That will be even MORE spectacular.
I’ll probably tell you about it if/when it happens…
One response to “It Was A Good Night To Go To Space”
Fingers crossed for your swamp draining in time for the 23rd, and they go with that day 🙂