Valentines and Rockets, Part 1

February 18, 2024  •  Leave a Comment

It was a spectacular couple of hours for me starting the evening of Valentines Day.

First up was an up-close view of the Falcon 9 rocket carrying the confidential payload of United States Space Force on the mission, USSF-124. We had special access to view this one from just a few miles away on Cape Canaveral Space Force Station itself. Of course, sharing a launch with my hubby is not a bad way for me to spend the holiday. My mom was also able to attend this one. It was my goal to share as great of an experience as I could on a launch with the ones I love, and what perfect timing, on Valentines Day.

The roar of the engines did not disappoint from this viewing area. Paired with the tumultuous building of the fire, smoke and steam, it was nearly overwhelming and elicited exclamations of awe and amazement came from everyone. Even better, the booster returned to the landing zone very near to us, so even after the climax of the launch, we still had a smashing closure as the booster re-entered the atmosphere and came back into view nearly right over our heads, shocking everyone with the dramatic sonic boom it creates upon re-entry. Even with all that raw power, it seemed to almost gently float back to the landing zone as if it were light as a feather.

I was left with shaking hands with all the excitement, just praying and hoping I had caught some of the spectacle in my camera that I was hand-holding at the time. This stuff never gets old, and at this range, is unbeatable!

After the excitement settled and I was able to review what I captured, I was absolutely gleeful! I had several images of the different stages of a launch, and even one of the very image I had hoped to capture; the rocket as it lifted from the launch pad with the fire and smoke billowing all around. I couldn't wait to process all these to share. So, here they are for you, late, but better late than never! Click on the image to open in a larger version, and to see more rocket photos. But scroll down, there's more!

USSF-124 Stages of LaunchUSSF-124 Stages of Launch

USSF-124 LIFT OFF!USSF-124 LIFT OFF!

After the 3-hour drive home, I decided to stay up to try to photograph the 1am launch of the history-making Lunar Lander going up on another Falcon 9, but with a due East trajectory, making it a bit more visible from our dock over 150 miles North of the launch site. Again, stunning launch, with another BIG FIRST for me in what I captured.

Click on the image to learn more about THAT launch in Valentines and Rockets, Part 2!!

 

Nova C Lunar LanderNova C Lunar Lander


Comments

No comments posted.
Loading...
Subscribe
RSS
Archive
January February March April May June July August September (2) October November December (3)
January February March (2) April May June July August September (2) October November December
January February March April May June July (17) August (31) September (31) October (31) November (31) December (30)
January February March April May June July August September October November December
January February March April May June July August September October November December
January February (6) March (11) April (5) May June July August September October November December
January February (1) March April May June July August September October November December
January February March April May June July August September October November December
January February March April May June July August September October November December
January February March April May June July August September October November December
January February March April May June July August September (6) October (10) November (5) December (6)
January (5) February (9) March (3) April (1) May June July August September October November December