Antares A-ONE Launch

I’ll have more to write about the Antares A-ONE NASASocial event later, but for now, here was my view of the rocket launch itself, recorded from the NASA Wallops Flight Facility press site, 2.1 miles from Pad 0A. I used my NEX3 on a tripod, zoomed out for a wide angle view, with an ECMSST1 microphone with foam cover for wind shielding. Also on Vimeo.

While the video was recording I got a few still shots with my point-and-shoot Powershot, zoomed way in:

Antares Liftoff Antares Liftoff Antares Liftoff

Mostly I tried to watch the launch with my own eyes. What photos and video don’t capture is how overwhelmingly bright the flame was; even in full daylight it shone with an eye-piercing fire, mach diamonds clearly visible in the launch plume. Antares runs on LOX/RP1, which burns mostly clean and doesn’t leave much of a trail like solid rocket boosters; you can see a very faint smoke trail below the rocket being blown to the right by the wind. And since we were just two miles from the pad, the sound was a deep and powerful roar that went right to your chest as well as ears. (Sadly the rocket was too far away for first stage separation to be visible.)

More Antares launch media: