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Discussion: Delta IV Heavy launch tonight

in: biggins; biggins > 2018-12-18

Dec 18, 2018 6:53 PM # 
Scheduled launch from Vandenberg tonight at 5:57 p.m. PST. That's an hour after local sunset, so pretty ideal for viewing. Weather might be a problem though.
Dec 18, 2018 7:27 PM # 
Ooo awesome. It's sortof clear up here right now, but probably not enough to see it. Hopefully it stays windy and gets scrubbed to a clearer day =)
Dec 18, 2018 9:31 PM # 
... and scrubbed.
Dec 19, 2018 7:09 PM # 
Sky looks alot better today too. Weather still 80% favorable for launch. Live stream will be here starting at 5:24 PM PST - 20 mins before launch.

This is launching due south of you and probably heading S or slightly SW. At ~400km range you're going to need a decent low horizon to see it. I'd estimate it'll reach about 15 deg max elevation (1.5 fists at arms' length). About half as high as Ken gets for Wallops launches from D.C. Thats jusy a guess though. Sunlight will be to your advantage for this one.

Some pics of a Spacex launch with similar lighting as seen from Carson City. Looks higher than 15 deg to me. Different rocket with different fuel (LH2 vs Kerosene, and no cold N2 poofs), so not sure what the plume will look like. You should be able to see the two side cores separate.
Dec 20, 2018 6:28 PM # 
Boo scrubbed due to hydrogen leak and/or meteor attack. Looks like next attempt is at least 10 days out.
Dec 20, 2018 7:24 PM # 
Doh! Sneaky molecules.
Dec 30, 2018 5:18 PM # 
Launch pushed back again - now N.E.T. Jan 6.

Watch for the first New Horizons images of KBO "Ultima Thule" on New Year's day. Will take almost 2 years to get the full dataset back. 1 kbps and 6 hrs light travel time one-way, flying past at 16 km/s. Hope the lens cap is off...
Jan 18, 2019 11:13 PM # 
Launch now appears to be go for tomorrow Jan 19, at 11:05 AM PST. Being mid-day, the lighting is far less-interesting/bordering-on-impossible to see from Tahoe. If you happen to be outside at that time have a peek to the south.
Jan 20, 2019 5:24 PM # 
Cloudy all day here, we couldn't see a thing.

This discussion thread is closed.