I imagine many readers have watched the movie, "Groundhog Day"... well, that is what happened yesterday. On Sunday we drove over to watch the blast off of SpaceX's Falcon 9 Rocket, but it was scrubbed... it was also scrubbed Monday due to weather, it was scrubbed Tuesday for high upper winds, and was set to go again on Wednesday. We thought, hey, why not give it one more try! We drove over on the chance, that the 4th time was a charm, and we were certainly not disappointed!
Cheryl, Judy and I made the trip leaving here shortly after lunch time. We took the senic route knowing we had lots of time to make the 6:03 scheduled launch time. The launch window was only 1 second long, so it was going to go or it was a bust!
Around 3:30 we stopped at Cocoa Beach to check it out. It was a bit cool, as a wind was up, and as you can see, big waves out on the Ocean.
The video above shows you what kind of day it was on the Ocean... I was concerned at this point in time about the winds, and if they would blast off or not.
We arrived at the viewing area shortly after 4, and as you can see, not too many people here for the launch. There was a lot more on Sunday.
I was watching NASA TV on the iPad, and we had a real good indication the rocket was set to go! All we had to do was wait. I have some video's and pictures I will post here, but remember a couple things. We went to watch the blast off live, not to record it on digital media. We only took pictures and videos as we were able to, and they were not a priority. We watched with our eyes, and just held the cameras and pointed. Hence, things may not be totally in focus or frame. There, disclaimer made!
First I will start off with a video taken with my iPhone 5. You will hear me saying, "no... that is just a reflection..." Well, your eyes play tricks on you. I thought for a brief moment that the sun, which was behind us was reflecting off the rocket. It was not. The flame from the rocket engine was brilliant! See for yourself. Next problem was, of all the times in the world to run out of batter, I did on the phone... about 15 seconds into the video... really! I quickly picked up my iPad and started another video right away, so that is why there is two of them. Here we go...
There are a set of hydro wires, so we had to work around those... couldn't get them cut down prior to the launch... NASA said "no"!
Keep in mind, this is the type of event that a video or picture does absolutely no justice to. You have to be here in person to see it, and it was awe inspiring! It is a great feeling to see mankind reach out into outer space in a matter of seconds! This rocket was powerful! I was reminded of coming here in the early 1980's with Shawn, and we watched a Shuttle lift off, and will never forget it! This was the same. It is something you will never forget, and is simply awesome to watch. It helps when there is not a cloud to be seen anywhere also!
It is hard to get a good focus with a digital camera when there is a real bright flame like that...
The cloud of smoke above, is left over from the launch site... it soon got dark on us, as the launch was right at sunset time.
All that was left was the smoke.
Elon Musk, the owner of SpaceX, wanted to land the separated rocket booster onto his barge out in the Atlantic. 20 foot waves prevented this from happening and they scrapped the idea of rocket recovery, and just let the thing fly!
Yes, it was a couple hours drive to get back over here, was it worth it! ABSOLUTELY!
Hopefully soon, they will resume manned space launches from here! That is when the interest in the program goes through the roof, just like last nights Rocket!