• Andrew Tubbiolo

    Interesting how I saw much the same from Kitt Peak in AZ many hundreds of miles away. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/7c513a3a127e3bb4a569fcf9f2499d16a0c3ce0ce2cb974194e2f53b6c87fabd.jpg

  • SamuelRoman13

    Impressive. A lot of flaring and to see the 1st stage follow along for that long. I have watched a F9 launch from TBA at the Cape and it was nothing like that. Got to have the right conditions I guess.
    Zenit will launch on 26 Dec. There is a good story from a Russian space site about it. Roscosmos(good video of the install of the sat. there, a lot of old timers) has U-Tube site that streams launches sometimes. It is suppose to launch 2PM EST if you want to check. Last land Zenit. It has 2x the same engines as Atlas. About the same as F9 has now. Sea Launch will not be ready for some time. Now if they can find something to launch. Ukraine is building 12.

  • Congrats to both SpaceX and Iridium. I hope the Iridium folks find all kinds of new applications and customers for space based services.

  • Andrew Tubbiolo

    Did you watch the promo/info vid where the Iridium guy goes into how Iridium is going to be used to pack up Class A airspace density where there’s no radar coverage?

  • I did. And to think, they came up with that business BEFORE MH370. People have rightfully asked, “it’s the 21st century, why fon’t we know where a giant airliner is at all times?” While I hate it when a tragedy drives change, I think Iridium is perfectly positioned to plug a gap in ATC that many people didn’t realize was there.

  • duheagle

    The launch occurred just as the last of dusk was fading into full night here on the ground in CA. But at any significant altitude, the sun was still shining and brilliantly illuminated all the contrails and plumes which stood out vividly against what, from the ground, was a dark sky. This general sort of thing happens once or twice a year with launches from Vandy. This was particularly spectacular as the air was very clear – decidedly not always a given at Vandy – and there were multiple items with engines/thrusters involved in the dance: 1st stage, 2nd stage and both fairing halves. As the total number of annual launches out of Vandy increases, there should be a proportional increase in launches that take place at, or just after, dusk. Even so, light shows this impressive aren’t likely to be too common.

  • Robert G. Oler

    this was an impressive year for SpaceX where they demonstrated an enormous maturity in their Falcon 9 operations, engineeering and product development

    I will be interested to see how long it takes them to make FH a viable product (and they will) as that will be a another good indication of the level of maturity that the organization has.

    How it will change human spaceflight depends on space policy in Washington (depressing) but we are on the dawn of a real industrial space age.

  • Kirk

    Video of the launch from a California highway:
    Rocket in the Sky plus Accident

  • Robert Sutton

    Indeed if you’re after a foggy bottom launch VAFB may be your best bet