NROL-76 Launch

May 01, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

NROL-76NROL-76The Launch of NROL-76, May 1, 2017

After getting scrubbed on Sunday, SpaceX scheduled another attempt to launch the NRO satellite early Monday morning. So again, I got up early and drove over to Titusville to try and photograph the launch. The launch pad was covered by a low, thick cloud deck with a great deal of moisture underneath. In fact, I got a rather interesting shot of the pad with a storm crossing an orange opening in the haze. But just about launch time, the cloud deck rose just a bit. And while it served to shield the lens from the direct rays of the rising sun, what resulted was one of the toughest backlight situations I've ever seen for a launch. But the result is a very environmental portrait of the launch.

SpaceX chose to land the first stage on the landing pad at Cape Canaveral. I was able to photograph a good portion of the decent, but was unable to see the final landing at the pad. I did get to experience the tremendous sonic boom associated with its return. Today's display of engineering and manufacturing excellence was truly inspiring. BZ


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