Night Launch

This past Saturday they had a night launch of the shuttle (Discovery STS-116). I was on my way off to work but I delayed 15 minutes to bring the video camera outside and catch it. There were some hazy clouds near the horizon that weren’t visible to me until illuminated by the launch. I’m about 150 miles from the space center as the crow flies, so any launch from there takes about 10-15 seconds to clear my horizon and come into view.

I’m sure you’ve all seen amateur video of small objects moving against the sky and mumbled to yourself “Why couldn’t this idiot keep the camera still and in focus?” Well, mostly-still wasn’t too hard but the focus? …Sheesh! I tried to keep some foreground objects in the frame but it didn’t help much. My next camcorder is going to have a manual focus option if such a thing exists!

Here’s the video from my front yard. Watch it HERE (5.7 MB).

You’ll need Apple – QuickTime to view this movie file.

For some really spectacular on-scene photos visit For the Birds: Night Launch

I have the next 4 nights in a row off so I hope to finally see first light on the new scope. Keep your fingers crossed.

3 Responses to “Night Launch”

  • Stuart says:

    That was great Rob and you got to video it from your house! Was the other light near the horizon a helicopter?

  • Rob says:

    Not sure about the other light. That’s the same general direction as Tampa International Airport so there’s always aircraft buzzing around.

  • Jen says:

    That is pretty neat that you could see it that well from so far away. I didn’t know it would be that visible all the way over there.

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