Monday, March 16, 2009

Launch of shuttle Discovery from Cape Cod

Here's a shot you don't see every day from Cape Cod.... the launch of a space shuttle! When NASA does a night launch of the shuttle, it can be seen all the way up the east coast of the US, even here in southern New England. The weather must be very clear to the south and southeast horizon in order to get a view of the shuttle as it rockets into space. The photo was taken from Red River Beach in Harwich. You can see the orangish exhaust trail traveling through the middle of the frame above the distant cloud deck over the ocean. It was taken from 7:50:40-7:52:40pm EDT on March 15th and shows MECO or Main Engine Cutoff. When the camera was shooting, I viewed it in binoculars and watched MECO which is visible just above the bank of clouds on the right. The bright section in the middle is just prior to the external tank seperation. During the shot, the shuttle was traveling at 15,000mph was 94 miles in altitude and 700 miles down range of Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

Hope you enjoy the view!


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