(ATREX) Mission : Chemical Tracers - March 27th, 2012 @ 5:13am
After weeks of delays from Mother Nature it happen….. 5 rockets in 5 minutes! The launch began just before 5am starting a onslought of rockets and chemical trails in the upper most part of our atmosphere. I spent a lot of time driving around and staying up late at night the last couple of weeks, it all paid off this morning with a successful launch from the Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia. I didn’t have the time this week like last week, so I couldn’t make another 400 mile roundtrip, over-nighter this week. I had some great spots less than 20 miles from the Wallops Flight Facility I “scouted” in earlier weeks…like the photo below.
ATREX Launch attempt Location 3
On earlier launch attempts I had traveled hundreds of miles to get into great locations within 20 miles from Wallops Island. This was my “secret” spot that I had planned to photograph the launch from. If it wasn’t for a boat, I would have had it last Friday morning, but luck wasn’t on my side that night. Imagine this picture with glowing eerie clouds piercing through the sky in the early hours before dawn. I can’t help but to beat myself up, but there wasn’t anything I could do about it. I am just happy that I was able be a witness to the spectacle. Here are some other shots from some failed attempts as well as a few more from this morning.
It was a great ride the last 2 weeks and I can’t wait for another launch.. I hope next time NASA launches 12 rockets in 12 minutes! Keep your eyes to the sky, you never know what you may find.
I drove 3 hours, about (180 miles) to view the launch attempt at Wallops Flight facility in Virginia, Thursday night, March 22/23, 2012. Weather has been insane across much of the country, but this night seemed worth the trip. With clearing in the forecast, I left Pennsylvania around 8:45pm and arrived on Assateague Island National Seashore around midnight. The weather was perfect for the first 45 minute’s, then some clouds started to pass through. I really wanted this to happen after driving a good distance, but as the skies cleared another issue came up and the launch was cancelled. I would be lying if I said it didn’t bother me, but I made the best out of the trip. I continued to shoot through the night working on some personal projects. I started to see a few meteors fall from the same location in the sky. I ended up catching this falling star between the clouds in the early hours of Friday morning. Seeing a few meteors really made the trip worth it, and catching one on “film” made it even better. New meteor shower discovered? The point is you can predict all you want, but there will always be unseen issues and surprises along the way, and you won’t know what they will be until you put yourself out there. I plan to capture the mega launch of 5 rockets in 5 minutes again this week. The skies will be clear as weather patterns are shifting, bringing in a new wind. Lets hope that the ” planets will align” this week and give us what everyone has been waiting for!
This morning was dark and dreary, just the way the Bald Eagles like it around here. Usually, every morning it rains they are out cleaning themselves and picking fish out of the stream. This morning was very nice as the Eagles sat in front of a changing forest in autumn. Here is one shot from this morning of the female taking flight after a fish. How do I know it’s a female? Females are almost always larger than the male. Yup I said it!