Delta-II/AURA launch from Vandenberg AFB, July 15, 2004
(Download a higher resolution picture by clicking on any picture below.)
NASA's AURA satellite was launched from Vandenberg AFB on a Delta II booster at 3:02 A.M on Thursday, July 15. It will examine the Earth's atmosphere in unprecedented detail.
This is a two-frame composite shot on Kodacolor 200.
The horizon lit up right on schedule and the Delta-II rose slowly from the pad. The flame lit up a high deck of cumulus. After the rocket ascended above the cloud deck, the flame occasionally disappeared behind the clouds. As the rocket accelerated, the flame grew longer and bluer The burnout first set of solid fuel boosters and the ignition of the second set was clearly visible. Then the solid fueled boosters burned out and the rocket continued on the liquid fueled stages. The cloud deck obscured the view of the burn of the upper stages.
This 193.5-second time exposure was taken with a Nikon D70 digital SLR set to an effective film speed of 200 ASA with an f3.5 lens.
More Vandenberg AFB launch photography.
Link to the NASA Goddard Spaceflight Center's AURA mission page.
Link to Boeing's Delta-II page.
Link to the Air Force Fact Sheet about the Delta-II.
The home page of the 30th Space Wing
Brian Webb's Space Archive Page provides launch schedule and ham radio information.
Send a message to Brian .