Way Off Topic - Delta 4 WGS 9 Launch

This is the kind of thing you can see in Florida skies every now and again from my backyard. Launch was this evening at 08:18 PM EDT.

Back to Glowforgery goodness.

Update: Here is a paper model of the launch vehicle!


Sweet! :sunglasses:




Sooooo cool! Wish Isaac Newton could have lived long enough to see that…



I once flew down from MN and my trip overlapped with a shuttle launch.
It was gonna be EPIC.
Got out there an hour in advance for a good spot.
The launch was postponed due to weather…
I flew back to MN the next morning and never saw it :frowning:


Gravity’s Rainbow: after reading Pynchon’s book, I can’t think of space flight without the WWII rocket story. I wonder what the balance of orbital launches comes out as? Peace or war?

In any case, it’s an amazingly beautiful thing.


@Jules and @kennethclapp - thank you.

@marmak3261 Personally I work civil space because I don’t want to build weapons. This was a military satellite launch but like you said, beautiful none-the-less.

@nick07lee - I’m sorry to hear that. Shuttle launches were awesome to watch. BION, I worked in New Orleans building the External Fuel Tank (ET) for almost 25 years before I watched my first shuttle launch in person.

@nunzioc - I have wondered what he would have thought at times. I’m not sure whether he would have been awestruck or if the technology would be too advanced even for his genius to truly comprehend.


Just awesome!

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Awesome. That is so rad!

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Always arcing to the east for that speed boost from Earth’s rotation. At the equator roughly 1,000 mph boost, so a bit less from South Florida.
Watching the vehicle speed and the time (fuel/weight) required to achieve 1,000 mph, it comes clear why the trajectory is (with rare exception) always east.

I have forgotten the $ to get a pound into LEO, but I recall that not painting the external Shuttle tank white saved something like 700 pounds!
I always thought it a shame they couldn’t carry that hotel size tank into orbit with them as components for the space station.

Considering how much energy it takes just to put a massive amount of weight like that into motion from static, seems (from my ignorance) like a mag rail assist to get the first few hundred mph would be worth development.
Penny for NASA! Historically about 1/10th of a tax penny went to NASA, and so many feel it a waste of money. "Why are we spending billions up there when …"
The amount the US spends on Halloween would cover most of NASA’s budget, and for the ROI, it’s a no brainier.

Thank you for the inspiring post!


@jordanloshinsky and @Ryan.M - Thanks. I’m a bit obsessed capturing this type o photograph.

@PrintToLaser - Thank you. You hit all the points (and I liked the UV color changing foam better than the white paint too, although that was before I started there). Because they never called ET Separation on the launch commentary the story would go around that the ET went all the way to space every now and again. Good times :slight_smile:

And yes, there are no stores in space, every penny is spent on the ground!


A truly stunning image.
I am a bit curious as what what the spiral cloud-like formation in the centre of the picture is though.
It doesn’t look like any sort of cloud formation. something related to long exposure times?


long exposure artifact of the exhaust from the rockets would be my guess.


Yep – it’s a long-exposure artifact. Here’s are some other examples:


Thanks guys.
Have to say, regardless of how it appeared on the image.
I think it’s very pretty.
Want my very own little spiral cloud, over my house, every day.:grin:


You might be able to create one using a model rocket or some bottle-rockets.

Long exposure shots can be really fun. Lots of digital cameras are so light these days that you can bump your shot really easily just trying to press the shutter button, even on a tripod. If you don’t have a remote shutter-release of some kind, the next best thing is to use the self-timer feature that almost every camera has.

If it were possible to adjust the interior lighting of the Glowforge, one might be able to pull of some neat long-exposure shots of the laser in action.

And here are two totally different kind of laser-long-exposures:


Thanks. Yes, that was the result of the long exposure and the dissipating rocket plume. @jbv and @dwardio nailed it.

Next one at my house is Friday night with an Atlas 5 rocket this time.

@jbv - now I can’t wait to try long exposure GF shots!