Friday, 13 February 2015

Scratch It...

... Off my bucket list. Falcon 9 rocket took to the sky Wednesday and I was there!!!

John decided to give it another try at Cape Canaveral for the launch. You recall we headed over on Sunday to watch but it was scrubbed at the last minute. Monday and Tuesday the weather did not cooperate. Wednesday was their last shot at getting it where they wanted it in orbit. If it didn't go they did not have another window of opportunity until down the road.

Monday Tom's sister Pat and husband Dick arrived for a visit. They showed up in the pouring rain. We are starting to think Pat brings it with her!! Rodger and Terry joined us here for dinner and Tuesday the six of us went out for breakfast at The Egg House in Lake Wales. We stopped at Florida Natural after so they could see the displays that are at the welcome center and taste the different samples of orange and grapefruit juices. We enjoyed some sunshine on our patio for more of a visit before they headed back down to the Fort Myers area where they are until the end of the month. We hope to get over to see them again before they leave.
Wednesday morning I did the walking class and then laundry. I just got home when John sent a message asking if I wanted to go with them to the Cape. Tom was helping a neighbor in the afternoon so I jumped at the chance. We had a nice leisurely drive over and arrived at the viewing area at 3:00 pm. It was bright and sunny but the wind was cold. We waited, with fingers crossed, hoping that the launch would happen and it did.
At exactly 6:03 this is what I saw through my binos!! I got this picture off the internet. I did snap a few with my iPad but I was busy with the binoculars watching the close up view and it was awesome.
This is what I could see with the naked eye. The white dot is the rocket. So glad I had the binos along!!
We were able to see the first stage ignite and the separation happen.
We could see the first stage start dropping back to earth. Due to heavy seas they were not able to attempt to land it on the barge this time. However they did report it made a soft landing in the Atlantic and they feel positive that they will be able to land the first stage on their next rocket launch.
I was able to watch the rocket for quite awhile before it disappeared from sight. The smoke trail remained in the sky for awhile after that.
Also the pink smoke remained over the launch site long after the rocket was gone. I think the color was from the sunset. Pretty!
Just being there and seeing it up close (with binoculars) and to be able to hear the sound of the rocket that came across the water in waves was incredible. It will be hard to top that experience this year.
According to the Nassau news the rocket coasted for 22 minutes. At approximate 31 minutes into the flight the second stage ignited for its second burn to place the satellite in its parking orbit some 200 km from earth. And at 35 minutes the satellite was deployed. The satelite will ultimately be positioned 1.5 million Kms from earth. It will take 110 days for it to reach that position. That is 4 times farther away than the moon. Wow!
Awesome experience!!








1 comment:

  1. Glad you got to see that launch.
    Kathy and I had taken our nine year old grandsons on a trip to Florida in 2011. The day we took them to Kennedy Space Center we couldn't visit the launch pad because they were having a launch. The place was packed with people and there was a delay. In the middle of our lunch we felt the vibration and there it was. The Nova Explorer on its way to a five year journey to orbit the planet Neptune. The grandsons are still talking about it.
    Be safe and Enjoy!

    It's about time.