tenaya: (stargate)
We left about 9am hoping that the commuters would be safely tucked away in their cube farms but no such luck. Traffic, traffic, traffic. And then in Woodland Hills, a car in the slow land dropped its bumper which flew across the pavement so I could drive over it three lanes away. Yikes. It's at times like that that you commit to the impact and hope that the new tires were worth all that money and that the Subaru engineers never said, "screw it; that's good enough." Shook us up but the car took the hit well. We stopped in Ventura to grab some burgers for the launch and I looked over the car. Just some pale blue paint on the right tires. I'm guessing the undercarriage is okay because nothing has fallen off 300 miles later.

We got to Lompoc at 12:30pm and there was a stopped line of cars while we were still 2 or 3 miles from the beach. We tried a side street but some nice airmen shooed us off. Back at the main street, we found that everyone was just pulling off to the side. Good idea! I got out the camp chairs, the Starbucks and the In-n-Out burgers and we were set. A fellow in the car next to us told us we weren't playing fair because we were upwind of them and they could smell the burgers. *eg* Then at 1:10pm, the crowd went off. We were looking off to the right but then realized the rocket was right in front of us. It was strangely quiet until it was significantly higher up and then we got that thundering noise we were expecting but it wasn't as loud as we thought. The news releases stated they were worried it might break windows in Lompoc but it was not loud at all. Damn mufflers!!! Another unexpected thing was that the rocket went straight into the sun from our perspective. It made watching it difficult.

When I looked back, the car in front of us had already left! We waited about 30 minutes then joined the line of cars. Took the scenic way back and got caught in even worse traffic back in LA. I'm glad we went. Seeing, hearing and feeling a rocket take off has been one of the things I've always wanted to do. I wanted to see a shuttle launch but that's not going to happen.

I phoned a friend who lives up there while we were waiting. Her mom answered and said her daughter was out. Then she said she'd lived up there for years and that was a wimpy rocket! Apparently the Titans were the impressive ones.

For photos and such, go here:

tenaya: photo by Wally Pacholka @ Astropics.com (devil's tower)
Final Preps Underway for Delta IV Heavy Launch - KCOY Santa Maria, Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo - News

Gonna leave soon to try and see this today.
tenaya: photo by Wally Pacholka @ Astropics.com (devil's tower)
It's "The Milky Way Over Devil's Tower" and is the July 29, 2009 photo at the Astronomy Picture of the Day:


The photo was taken by Wally Pacholka at Astropics.com

(I made an icon out from part of it.)

Also, I went out tonight to watch the space ships. The shuttle had detached from the ISS so it was a two-fer with the shuttle racing ahead of the ISS. :)

Now mind you, as I'm standing in the yard searching the skies for space ships, Brindle was leaning against my leg and he was in a cross mood for some reason. He was working himself to bite me so my attention was zipping between Mr. Nippy and the night sky. We call him The Pocket Lion because he visually has many features of a lion.

Then I had a profound thought: Mankind probably would have made faster progress if they didn't always have to have one eye peeled to avoid being eaten by lions. Furry yellow beasties with sharp teeth will always trump stargazing.
tenaya: (varmits)
First off, let me say everybody is okay. Oh wait! That's a real life 'fic warning!'

Read more... )

And the reason I was up last night at 3am was to see what I could see of the Vandenburg launch of a Minuteman missile. Right on schedule I saw a point of light about as bright as Venus when it's close. It was definitely flame colored and rose into the sky for a minute or two before it just blinked out. I understand they were aiming at an island that is part of the Marshall Island group, and it had three dummy warheads in it.
tenaya: (Default)
I only found out about this an hour ago from the news weatherman. There were three satellites whizzing through the sky within 5 minutes of each other just a few minutes ago.

The first was the Jules Verne, an ATV (or a space freighter--now how many stories have I read which involved space freighters!) which I'd never heard of before. "The Jules Verne Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV) is a 22-ton unmanned cargo carrier that will ferry almost 8 tons of equipment and spare parts as well as food, air, water and Russian resupply fuel to the station. It will use its thrusters to control the attitude of the space station and its main engines to reboost it." It's been parked up there 12,000 miles from the International Space Station while the Endeavour does it's mission.


Four minutes later the ISS flew the same path and it was so very bright. One minute later, the Endeavour followed along. Since it was about a four minute transit across the sky, the last two were fairly close together.

And it was awesome! It is just so cool! :)
tenaya: (Default)
The International Space Station and the US's space shuttle are docked right now. When they fly over your home at twilight, it is so cool to see.

Go to the following site and look up your country and city and you will find your best viewing opportunity:


ETA: If you're in a different country from the US, go to this page and put in your country on the left side of the page:

tenaya: (Default)
If you want to know when you can see these two fly by, go here and put in your city:

For those in the Southern California area, there's a fair to middling one tonight at 8:53 from the north to the SSE, visible for 3 minutes. Trust me, you'll know it when you see it and it is exciting. *g*


tenaya: (Default)

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