Friday, May 24, 2013

WGS-5 launch on Delta IV from Space Florida South Campus bleachers

A beautiful launch with Jen and Sabrena! The contrail turned into a rainbow from the setting sun. The four solid rockets could be seen falling back to earth after separation for many minutes. They looked like slowly falling stars as the blinked from reflections. The upper stage separation was also visible as the rocket looked like it hit a cloud with a plume out-gassing radially from the stages. This was a one of a kind launch! It's too bad I opted for bulb mode on liftoff and over saturated the lens. We were at the South Campus location because they had moved people back from the causeway spots (probably due to the prevailing winds).

The contrail left a rainbow of colors as the Delta IV rocketed away.
Four solid boosters fall back to Earth like twinkling falling stars.
The rainbow dances in the contrail.
A few short videos including the solid boosters twinkling and the launch clearing the tower.

The official stats:
May 24/25 Delta 4  •  WGS 5
Launch time: 0027 GMT on 25th (8:27 p.m. EDT on 24th)
Launch site: SLC-37B, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida

A United Launch Alliance Delta 4 rocket launched the fifth Wideband Global SATCOM spacecraft, formerly known as the Wideband Gapfiller Satellite. Built by Boeing, this geostationary communications spacecraft will serve U.S. military forces. The rocket flew in the Medium+ (5,4) configuration with four solid rocket boosters. Delayed from Jan. 18, February, March, May 8 and May 22. Scrubbed on May 23 by pressurization issue. See our Mission Status Center. [May 25]


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