Orbital ATK was supposed to launch an Antares supply rocket this evening
at 7:40pm EDT from Wallops Island, VA going up to the ISS.
It was supposed to be visible here in North Carolina. There's a high
bridge near my house that gives me a low horizon to the northeast, so I
went up there to see if I could spot it.
The info I got from space.com said it should be high enough above the
horizon to see it about 120 seconds after launch, so I expected to see
something at about 7:42. There was apparently a 5 minute delay.
I was just about to give up and go home at 7:47 when I spotted it. Kind
of a red dot moving across the sky, but I could see the exhaust plume
through my binoculars.
I lost sight of it when the first stage engine shut off, and just as I
was about to give up again, I spotted it when the second stage ignited.
Watched for a few more minutes until it disappeared. Don't know if it
got too far away for me to see or if they shut down the second stage engine.
No photos. I didn't know enough to choose an appropriate lens. So I
figured I'd see what it was and maybe next time I'll take a camera.
Don't know if I'd have been able to capture it anyway.
Still, Cool beans!
Science - Questions we may never find answers for.
Religion - Answers we must never question.
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