SpaceX Falcon 9 Rocket Launch Video and Photos

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SpaceX Falcon 9 Rocket Launch Video and Photos
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By Robert Bernstein

SpaceX made another successful launch of a Falcon 9 rocket from Vandenberg!

Here is my video of the launch.

And here are photos I have extracted that are of special interest.

This is the view across the street from our Goleta home as the rocket just clears the neighbor's roof.

This was the view a few seconds later

Then the views get much more interesting as the rocket stages separate and the satellite fairing is ejected

It begins to look like a giant jellyfish in the sky!

Within just a couple of minutes, the satellite payloads are placed in space

And all that is left in the sky is a puff of dissipating smoke

The launch occurred at 6:17AM Thursday after many previous delays and re-schedules. I was viewing from our home near Girsh Park in Goleta. The rumbling sound of the launch arrived about five minutes after the launch. I was surprised it was not that loud. About all you could hear was the rattle of windows.

The launch placed the Paz satellite in orbit. Paz is a radar imaging satellite which will be operated by Spanish company Hisdesat. The spacecraft will provide day and night, all-weather imaging capabilities for Hisdesat's customer, Spain's Ministry of Defense.

The launch also placed two test satellites for SpaceX's Starlink broadband network. These are called Microsat-2a and 2b.

I had been following the launch plans at Space Flight Now on line. Most launches have a launch window ranging from a few minutes to several hours. This was most unusual in that it listed just one exact instant for the launch and it did indeed launch at that instant.

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sbrobert Feb 22, 2018 05:40 PM
SpaceX Falcon 9 Rocket Launch Video and Photos

Thank you for the kind words Chuck (MACPUZL) and 9818! The conditions were ideal for viewing! One slight surprise: Since the launch happened at sunrise, I expected the contrail to be more interesting. I remember a sunset launch that left a contrail of rainbow colors. Perhaps that depends on the chemistry of the rocket more than the time of day. Best wishes, Robert

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