Recent Vandenberg launches

From: Rick Baldridge (
Date: Tue Jul 27 2004 - 12:59:44 EDT

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    Over the past two weeks, there have been 4 rocket launches from Vandenberg
    AFB -- a Minuteman III, a Delta II carrying the AURA satellite on July 15th,
    a Peacekeeper ICBM on July 21st and another Minuteman III on July 23rd.  For
    those of you lucky enough to live on the west coast, it was an unprecedented
    opportunity to take some quality launch photos, hone photographic techniques
    and organize photo coverage allowing trajectory computation.
    I posted photos in various albums at:
    (Sorry, I don't have a website set up yet.)
    There are plots and calculations of many of the trajectories based on Rob
    Matson's SKYMAP program.  Love that software!  Many of the plots I made for
    others across California were used to accurately frame the rocket tracks for
    better photos.  Anyone desiring further details please contact me directly.
    A photo I took of the AURA launch was chosen for an Astronomy Picture of the
    Day (APOD) post for July 22nd which is at:
    For the Delta AURA launch, William Hartenstein and Gene Blevins took many
    shots from different locations which allowed me to compute the trajectory
    quite nicely.  See:
    The Minuteman and Peacekeeper launches were video taped and photographed
    from multiple locations, allowing a good reduction of the trajectory.
    Rick Baldridge
    Campbell, CA  USA
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