Lewis launch observed

3432P@VM1.CC.NPS.NAVY.MIL
Sat, 23 Aug 97 00:57:58 PDT

Thanks to Stu Huston's timely advance notice, I witnessed from Marina,
California (about 157 miles (252km) north of Vandenburg) the on-time
launch of the Lewis satellite at 11:51pm local time (0651 UT).

I was startled by how bright it was; A mag. 1 orange glow, with a
plume about 1-2 deg. long behind it.  I saw the second stage ignite,
and it faded from view about 15 degrees above the horizon, roughly 6
minutes after the launch.  Very nice, indeed.  I'm looking forward to
the next night launch on Sept 15th, although the 6 hour launch window
could make it very long vigil.

 Craig Cholar