United Launch Alliance sent a Delta IV into space tonight carrying a SATCOM communications satellite for the U.S. Air Force. Click Here to read the news report on the Florida Today web site.
I went out in front of our house in north Merritt Island to videotape the launch at 8:47 PM EST. Click Here to watch the home video. You need Windows Media Player and a broadband (cable modem, DSL) Internet connection to watch.
It was about 50 degrees and windy outside. There’s some early lens flare in the video from dust on the lens. At about two minutes, you’ll see four red spots separate from the rocket. Those are expendable solid rocket motors being jettisoned. I’m also told many launch watchers saw a shooting star, but I’m not sure if I caught that in the video.
I’ve filmed quite a few Shuttle and rocket launches since we moved here in early June. Click Here to see all my Florida blog entries. Not all have launch videos but you’ll find those easily enough.
Night launches are far and away the most impressive, because they look like a sunrise from darkest night. In this video, the rocket becomes one star against other stars, which you can see a little at the end of the clip.
I also want to put in a plug for Florida Today‘s live chat coverage of launches. Click Here to read tonight’s live chat with veteran space correspondent Todd Halverson, who is the Kennedy Space Center Bureau Chief for Florida Today and USA Today.
If you didn’t know, USA Today was founded by the publisher of Florida Today. Both are headquartered in the same building on U.S. 1 in Melbourne.
Anyway, Florida Today has a great space blog called The Flame Trench which is mandatory reading if you’re a space geek. Click Here to go to The Flame Trench. Be sure to bookmark the page in your browser.