I have been trying to catch a rocket launch for sometime now but it never seems to workout. When Sunday's Wallops launch was scrubbed I figured I had lucked out again. Monday morning turned out to be even better, it was earlier, darker and clearer skies.
I wasn't really sure exactly where the SS Sally Ride was going to appear in the sky but I knew the north end of Ocracoke Island would be my best option. We found a spot, setup and a minute or so before launch I woke my assistant up and made him get out of the truck. He manned the phone so we could monitor things on YouTube.
About 90 seconds after launch I expected to see the rocket but I still wasn't sure exactly where. I did see what I thought was a plane over the dunes but my assistant quickly pointed out that the lights weren't flashing and there was a trail behind it. Sure enough it was the fiery plume of the Antares rocket streaking across the sky. We heard the call for Main Engine Cut-off and then a short time later 2nd stage ignition.
Watching the 2nd stage ignite was a truly amazing experience and as much as I'd like to make the trip to Florida for a KSC launch I think I like the Outer Banks more.
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