Atlas V LANDSAT lifts off from Vandenberg AFB, CA.
Well my rocketing into 2013 hit a bit of a speed bump as things got very busy at work, and it's sometimes hard to have the drive for blogging when you've been at the computer all day anyway. HOwever, lots of interesting things happening so let's start with today's great visuals from the launch of the LandSat Earth Observation Satellite from Vendenberg AFB. Once again the Atlas V does a fantastic job lifting the payload into orbit. SpaceRef did a good deed by linking to UStream and NASA on their site.
Atlas V on the pad just about an hour before launch. Beautiful day for rocketeering.
Payload section carrying the LandSat Earth Observation Satellite. almost 3 minutes to lift off.
More distant view of the Gantry rolled away from the pad. Venting of fuel fumes continues. The hills prove this is not Florida!
As the flight continued, NASA provided computer graphics of the rocket's status and orientation. Small inset picture shows its location over the Pacific ocean heading away from Southern California. The fairings of the payload have jettisoned, exposing the satellite to the vacuum of space.
After MECO (main engine cut-off) the thrusters were used to re-orient the craft prior to a secondary burn which would place the satellite into its designated orbit. Good Job, ULA (United Launch Alliance) and NASA!
Different launch, different site. For comparison, this is the Atlas V launch site in Florida. On the Atlas V is the TDRS communication satellite launched January 31. Notice the lightning rods...
Baikonur. Soviet 2.1a rocket with a payload of 6 Globalstar Communications satellites ready for launch. It blasted off on February 6. There are now 24 Globalstar sats in orbit providing world-wide communications coverage for its customers. RIA Novosti image.
SPACEFLIGHTNOW.com has some great images of the recent Arianne space mission, which launched two satellites for international interests. You can see the liftoff images and satellite pics here: http://www.spaceflightnow.com/ariane/va212/130207launch/#.URmNLRxG63a
The SEALAUNCH company had a setback this month with a failed launch of their Zenit-3SL rocket. You can read the information at: http://www.spaceflightnow.com/sealaunch/is27/130201failure/#.URmN_xxG63Z
There were two Progress cargo mission events this last weekend, and I'll post a separate blogpost on that situation shortly.