Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Atlas V launch

(Time lapse photo from Spaceflight Now)
Another rocket took off tonight like the one in my video with the visible sonic boom. This one was from Vandenberg Air Force Base near Santa Barbara. My old boyfriend Chris the skydiver lives near there so I asked him to go see it for me.
Ok, that was a pretty awesome sight. We were driving home from dinner and noticed we could see the launch tower all lit up, so we parked and watched. About 30 mins later everything got extremely bright around the tower... off went the rocket. About 20-25 seconds later we heard the rumbling as that super-bright rocket headed up. I believe we may have witnessed the visible sonic boom you described.  It was a wide wave around the rocket after a few minutes of flight. We have almost a full moon tonight with clear skies, so it was well lit. The wave started as a small circlet around the rocket & extended out in several directions that we could see. Not sure if that was a visible boom or some sort of vapor or something. Anyway... thanks for the heads-up about the launch. It was an experience!
According to Spaceflight Now Mach 1 was at about 85 seconds, so that's about right.

So cool! Sorry I missed it but I'm glad I got a first hand report! Now if anybody in southern California wants to try skydiving go to the drop zone in Lompoc and ask for Chris Warnock and you'll be in good hands!

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