Tag Archives: launch

Ares I-X flight test launches successfully!

Unless you’re living under a rock, you probably heard that NASA launched a new rocket today.  Below are some photos from in and around the NASA Press Site and also some video of the launch that I took today.  The video also contains some decent manatee footage.  There are usually manatees hanging around the turn basin there near the Press Site.

The Ares I is intended to replace the Space Shuttle for launching astronauts into space after it retires in the next year or so.  Today’s launch, dubbed the I-X mission, was an unmanned flight test of this new rocket.  Not only was it unmanned, but the whole upper stage was fake and just dropped into the ocean after separation.  But we’re taking baby steps here, people.  Don’t want to bite off more than we can chew.  🙂

Here’s the video that I took.  Click on this link to see this video on the YouTube website where you can comment and vote on it and stuff.

And here are some photos.  Click on any photo for a full sized version.


Obligatory photo of the countdown clock with the launch vehicle in the background.  It was 5am when I arrived at the Press Site this morning.  Way way earlier than my normal arrival time.


Inside the NASA Press Site where they show various camera views of the launch vehicle and they also have some cool large models of the Ares I and also the future Ares V heavy lift cargo vehicle.  These models are like 7 or 8 feet tall.


Various news channels shoot interviews all day long here at the NASA Press Site.  Here you can see the Air Force weather officer getting some time on camera with Fox 35.


NASA TV showed some beautiful sunrise video …


… so I went outside to see it for myself.


Live trucks lined up in the NASA Press Site parking lot. You can see the rocket in amongst the transmission towers.


The NASA Press Site is about 3.5 miles from the launch pad.  You can see the white rocket and the three really tall lightning towers around the launch pad.  These towers were built especially for the Ares I program.


Here are the folks from NASA Edge recording their show.  NASA Edge is a cool and hip educational program on NASA TV. You should check it out. While you’re there, be sure to also check out NASA-360, which is another cool educational program that NASA produces.

The end of an era: Last Delta II (GPS) Launch

Update:  Oops.  The media tricked me again.  This was the last GPS launch of Delta II, not the last launch of Delta II.  There are still apparently a handful of more Delta II launches planned.  Sorry for propagating my own confusion.

This morning a little after 6:30am, the very last Delta II rocket blasted off from Florida’s Space Coast carrying a GPS satellite into a successful orbit. According to local news reports, the newest GPS satellites are wider and heavier and will be launched from larger Atlas V or Delta IV rockets. Delta II rockets have been launching on the Space Coast for just over 20 years, so this morning’s event was truly the end of an era.  Here’s a photo of this morning’s launch from the Florida Today website (click it for full size image):


I was outside exercising this morning during the launch and caught some low quality photos using my phone (click them for full size images):



STS-125 Shuttle Launch (from VAB roof)

I worked at the NASA press site today in support of STS-125, the final Hubble servicing mission. The press site was really busy for this mission. Usually I escort media personnel to various locations for various reasons. To my surprise, today I was asked to escort some of the press photographers to the roof of the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) to photograph the launch. Wow! What an opportunity! It was a great launch and it went right on time. Here are some photos that I took from the top of the VAB. Click on each thumbnail for a larger version.

. STS-125 from VAB roof

. STS-125 from VAB roof

. STS-125 from VAB roof

. STS-125 from VAB roof

. STS-125 from VAB roof

. STS-125 from VAB roof

STS-126 launch

We got a car pass and watched Endeavour launch last night on STS-126 from the NASA Causeway viewing site. It was awesome!

Elijah waits patiently for the launch.  We got there almost 2 hours beforehand.  Notice the nearly full moon out the window.  A beautiful and clear night for a launch.


And we have liftoff!  The picture doesn’t do it justice, because it lights up the night sky as if it were daylight!

We could see it almost all the way down to the horizon.  Very cool.


STS-120 Lifts Off

I was at the NASA Press Site yesterday for the launch of STS-120. What an amazing launch that was to witness. I’ve seen a lot of launches, and this one was the loudest I can remember. I imagine the extreme loudness can be attributed to either the heavy humid air, or the wind direction, or the low cloud deck, or probably a combination of these atmospheric conditions. I took these photos of the launch while at the same time helping to make sure people didn’t “loiter” in front of the big countdown clock. When people stand directly in front of the clock, it has a tendency to annoy most of the TV stations who are using the footage from the countdown clock in their live launch feeds. Click on a photo for a larger version in my photo gallery.

.STS-120 launch .STS-120 launch

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