Titan 4B launch observed

From: Skywise (skywise711@earthlink.net)
Date: Thu Aug 17 2000 - 17:15:24 PDT

  • Next message: Ted Molczan: "Titan IV-B and Lacrosse 4 payload are in orbit"

    Just observed the Titan 4B launch from Vandenberg from my suburban
    location in Buena Park, about 17 miles south-east from downtown Los
    Angeles.
    
    Was not expecting the rocket to be so visible considering I was
    looking for it against the sun. The rocket was quite visible as a
    very bright white "dot" trailing a glowing orangish-white plume
    which was obviously the rocket exhaust. The whole affair left
    behind a white trail.
    
    The launch came up from my NNW and rising at somewhat less than a
    45 degree angle moving quickly to the south.
    
    I was able to observe SRB cutoff as a white puff after which I
    lost track of the rocket as it was passing very close to the sun.
    It was also no longer leaving a trail to follow.
    
    I did see a second puff of smoke on the other side of the sun
    which I think may have been SRB seperation.
    
    Once again, I am really surprised at how much was visible considering
    I was looking towards the sun the whole time. I tried taking some
    pics with my digital camera and although I can just barely make out
    the exhaust streak, they just simply are not worth posting. The sun
    being in the field of view washed out the cameras' view too much.
    
    This would have been an absolutely spectacular launch if it had
    taken place just after sunset a couple hours later.
    
    Cheers,
    Brian
    
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