(Download a higher resolution picture by clicking on any picture below.)
An Atlas-V booster launched a Defense Meteorological Satellite Program satellite from SLC-3 at Vandenberg Air Force Base at 9:12 AM on Sunday, October 18. This version of the Atlas-V is not equipped with solid fuel boosters, so the exhaust contrail is much less visible than a Delta-II launch. The Lonmpoc Valley was filled with dense fog, forcing me to photograph the launch from the mountains west of Santa Barbara about 35 miles from SLC-3.
The Atlas-V rose from Space Launch Complex 3.
At full resolution it can be seen that the flame from the rocket engine is about as long as the rockt.
The Atlas-V accelerated above a deck of broken clouds. The flame of its engine was the only visible sign of its ascent.
A tenuous contrail formed several seconds after the rocket had passed. The rocket became hard to track above the cloud deck.
More Vandenberg AFB launch photography.
You can buy a 2018 calendar featuring my photographs of rocket launches from Vandenberg Air Force Base.
Photos of thirteen rocket launches from Vandenberg Air Force Base:
Pegasus-XL/Wide-Field Infra-red Explorer (WIRE) March 4, 1999
Atlas-IIAS/Terra December 18, 1999
Delta II/Gravity Probe B, April 20, 2004
Minotaur/Streak September 22, 2005
Titan IV/National Reconnaissance Office satellite, October 19, 2005
Minuteman III, February 16, 2006
Minuteman III, April 2, 2008
Target Launch Vehicle, September 24, 2008
Delta-II/GeoEye 1, September 6, 2008
Delta II/Jason 2, June 20, 2008
Delta II/COSMO-Skymed, October 24, 2008
Taurus/Orbiting Carbon Observatory, February 24, 2009
Delta-II/Worldview 2, October 28, 2009
Put a copy of the Rocket Launches from Vandenberg Air Force Base: 2018 Calendar in your Lulu.com shopping cart for $14.95.
The home page of the 30th Space Wing
Brian Webb's Space Archive Page provides launch schedule and ham radio information.
Visit SLC-2W on Google Earth.
Books and Videos about Rockets and Mi ssiles from Amazon.com
Visit the Lockett Books Amazon Webstore for a selection of aviation and space related books and DVDs.
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