Thursday, April 30, 2015

I may be suffering from obsessive launch viewing disorder: @SpaceX launch from the kickball field! #TurkmenAlem #GLBK

So this may be the limit of me going out of my way to watch a launch... Our kickball game in Cape Canaveral started at 6:15pm, the same window opening as the +SpaceX launch. The weather looked ominous so I wasn't expecting the rocket to launch on time, or possibly not at all. I brought my phone to the dugout bench and checked Twitter for the occasional updates and launch time. Less then 10 minutes before launch, it was time for our team to take the field for the bottom of the inning. For the first time ever, I brought my cell phone onto the diamond to keep a loose eye on Twitter and the countdown and the other eye on the ball. Everything proceeded in the countdown and I was ready to spot the rocket. Luckily there was not much activity in the minute before the 7:03pm launch. As soon as the rocket was spotted our entire team (mostly NASA-KSC employees and contractors) froze in their positions with several cheers from around the field and diamond. I took a few quick iPhone pictures and a panorama to capture the experience. The coolest part about watching rockets launch, is finding unique ways to experience them and with unique friends. Since it was cloudy and a fully loaded rocket, we could feel and hear the rumble into the 7th inning and it was definitely more exciting than how we played that night!

Spotting the rocket from third base. With the cloud deck it didn't matter where you watched the launch from, it was about the noise and feel of the engines rumbling. 
A quick pan shows GLBK (Girls Love Big Kicks) mesmerized by another launch form the Cape.

The official stats:
April 27 Falcon 9   •  TurkmenAlem52E/MonacoSat
Launch time: 2303 GMT (7:03 p.m. EDT)
Launch site: SLC-40, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launched the TurkmenAlem52E/MonacoSat 1 communications satellite for Thales Alenia Space and the government of Turkmenistan. The spacecraft is Turkmenistan's first national satellite and will support communications over Central Asia. Delayed from March 21 and April 24. Read our full story. [April 27]


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