Friday, January 24, 2014

Fire in the Sky

While I have been spending a lot of time working on the boat, I do occasionally get off the boat and go do something fun.  When I found out that there was a rocket launch at the Kennedy Space Center last night, I decided to try and see if I could see it.  A couple of my neighbors in the marina got tickets and went down to see the launch, but unfortunately I didn't have enough time to make that trip down to the center.  So, instead I tried to find a place where I could at least see the launch from a distance.

I ended up driving down the coast on A1A a bit and found a place to pull off at the beach and watch for the launch.  It has been cold in Florida and this evening was no exception.  It's not Colorado cold, but the wind and humidity can certainly chill you I actually think I'm glad I didn't go down to the center and sit on the bleachers. Guess I should have brought some of the winter clothes from home after all...but this is Florida and how many long sleeve shirts and jackets could I possibly need.

The launch window was 40 minutes long starting at 9:05pm.  As I stood there in the cold wind waiting for the launch, a couple other cars pulled into the pullout and waited for a bit for the launch.  After 20 minutes or so, both had given up and left.  I was debating the same while trying to get some information on my cell phone to see if the launch had been scrubbed.  Just as I was about to leave, one of the people that was there came back and said the launch was on and should happen any minute (I guess he lives a couple minutes away and went home and checked the desktop site to see what was up...thanks to whoever you are for letting me know).

So, sure enough, suddenly an orange glow appeared to the south heading for the sky.  From our location you couldn't hear the engines or anything, but other than a few wisps of clouds, it was clear and made for a nice show.  You can see the orange streak head up, make it's turn and finally disappear out of sight.  And one more man-made satellite is now orbiting the earth.

Now, I know better than to think that I could get a decent picture of the launch.  Even with a good camera set to the highest ISO setting I had no tripod, I needed to zoom in, the target was moving, and it was cold enough my hands were getting a bit numb so shaking was pretty much guaranteed...but I had to try, right?  So, here is one of the better shots.

Yes, it is a bit shaky...the rocket wasn't flying erratically.  Still, not too bad given it was about a 4 second exposure.

Definitely going to have to go to a launch up close at some point.  I've heard that there are places where you can get a great view from a boat...wouldn't that be cool.


  1. I wore my down jacket all the way from Pasadena, MD to south of Fernandina Beach. It's been a weird weird winter.

    S/V Kintala

    1. I know I wasn't expecting it to be this cold this much in Florida. The reverse cycle AC has been getting a workout.

      Hope you guys are getting warmer moving south.