Monday, December 2, 2013

Watching the Rocket Launch: Falcon 9 GEO Transfer Mission

Last week, the Falcon 9 SES 8 communications satellite was scheduled to launch at SLC-40, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. The mission of SES 8 is to "provide Ku-band and Ka-band direct-to-home broadcasting and network services over the Asia-Pacific region. This rocket will fly in the Falcon 9 v1.1 configuration with upgraded Merlin 1D engines, stretched fuel tanks and a payload fairing." Two  seconds to lift off, the launch was aborted. The second attempt to launch was scheduled Nov 28- Thanksgiving Day. We were watching the launch at Port Saint John by the Indian River.

It was a chilly afternoon on a Thanksgiving Day. There were quiet a few people who were not Floridians and were hoping to see the launch for the first time. It was cloudy but, the weather was not the factor of the aborted launch.

There was a Wifi signal by the boat dock, thanks to Bright House, I was able to use my iPad to monitor the Space X live webcast. It was truly chilly outdoor so; we stayed inside the car the whole time.

The launch pad is straight ahead. On a clear day, the rocket launch is clearly visible from here. The best spot to watch the launch is at Kennedy Space Center in the Apollo premises.

The parking space in the boat dock is full but, not crowded. Most of all, it was okay to wait because the weather is cool.

The window for the launch was between 5:37 to 6:43 PM EST but, as you can see, it was really cloudy. There was a second attempt to launch and aborted. They re-scheduled by Monday, December 2 but, it was delayed. Today is the third attempt. I hope it will be successful this time.

We can see the rocket from our front yard but, it is nicer to see it from here. I will be taking photos for comparison. Have a great day everyone!

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