Sunday, July 24, 2011

July launch activity at Cape Canaveral

I haven't had that much time this month for playing games.  There was the last shuttle launch on the 8th, a night launch of a Delta IV carrying a GPS II satellite last Friday night.  My girlfriend coming down to visit for 5 days, a trip to Sea World, many trips out to the Cocoa Beach Pier for fishing.  It has been busy and fun.  I'll post more progress through games shortly. 

I don't have a video posted yet on YouTube of the Shuttle launch, though one will be forthcoming.  I do have a couple of pictures I took that turned out fairly well.

Looking at the launch pad from the VAB.
Main engines start.
Just about to clear the tower!
Still beneath the cloud layer.
Out of sight.
Here are a few pictures from the night launch of the Delta IV.  A couple turned out surprisingly well with my cheap point-and-shoot camera.  Also considering the fact that the launch was at 2:50 AM. 

Rocket just igniting.
Brightest star in the sky for a few moments.
Away into space.
The night launch was worth getting up to see, even though it lasted only a few moments.  It was a clear night, and even though I couldn't get pictures of it, you could see the solid boosters separate and fall away.  They looked like flickering lightning bugs around the still burning first stage.  We all stood and watched as the bright light just suddenly blinked out.  And that was it.

The next two launches schedule here at the Cape are very dear to me.  JUNO will launch on an Atlas V near August 5th, and my own project that I have been working on the last two and a half years, GRAIL, will launch on the last Delta II Heavy around September 8th.  I look forward to seeing both of these spacecraft launch and travel through space to do their science. 

With the end of the program being so soon, I find myself hoping that this will not be the one and only time I get to do something like this.  I've been very fortunate to be down here for the last two shuttle flights.  I hope to be here again when the United States returns to space with whichever vehicle we chose to do so with.

1 comment:

  1. Damn it, man! Sometimes I think I should have followed your lead and stayed in the aerospace sector. I love music and all, but having a part in sending multi-million (billion?) dollar machines blasting into space would be a helluva lot more exciting!