Minuteman III launch observed

From: Richard Baldridge (RBaldridge@Filss.com)
Date: Wed Mar 08 2000 - 09:37:24 PST

  • Next message: Richard Baldridge: "Minuteman III launch (time correction)"

    Saw the Minuteman III launch from Vandenberg early this morning from 200
    miles away in Campbell, CA (N37.262, W121.977).  While the missle did not
    get into sunlight, the staging events were quite nice to observe in 7x50
    binoculars.  I obtained several photographs and a video tape.  Launch time
    was estimated at approximately 1:40:30am PST (9:40:30 U.T.)  on March 8th.
    (A 3 degree high horizon in the direction of Vandenberg is the reason for
    the launch time uncertainly.)  The first image from the video record was at
    1:41:06am.  The video recorded the second stage falling away from the third
    stage quite nicely. 
    
    If anyone in the SeeSat community observed and/or photographed the launch,
    I'd be most interested in corresponding with you.  I'm in the process of
    constructing a launch trajectory file for Minuteman launches for use with
    Rob Matson's SKYMAP program and could use additional data (primarily EXACT
    launch time and launch silo coordinates if available).  
    
    I've constructed trajectory files for Delta-II, Pegasus and Taurus vehicles
    for use with SKYMAP and will MAKE THEM AVAILABLE to others who have an
    interest in observing Vandenberg launches.  An approximate trajectory file
    for the upcoming Taurus/MTI launch has also been constructed if anyone is
    interested.
    
    RICK BALDRIDGE
    rbaldridge@filss.com  
    
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