CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla — Providing a strong showing for itself, United Launch Alliance’s Delta IV medium rocket thundered off of Cape Canaveral Air Force Station’s Space Launch Complex 37 (SLC-37) at the opening of its launch window at 8:27 p.m. EDT Friday, May 24. In so doing, it returned the launch vehicle to service after an issue cropped up during the Delta IV’s previous launch. Unique angles, incredible imagery, and an epic return to flight were all part of a day’s work. READ MORE »
Posts in category WGS
We had six video cameras within the perimeter of Launch Complex 37 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station for the launch of the Delta IV rocket on 19th Jan 2012. Unfortunately two of them got covered in dew so didn’t record anything, but of the remaining four we got some great shots.
My favourite is the first video where you can clearly see the engines light up and the plume of exhaust building as it exits the flame trench. The force of the blast knocked the perimeter fence out. Good thing our cameras were not on that side…
Last Thursday night on a cloudless starry night a Delta IV blasted off into the obsidian skies on its way into orbit. The Delta 4 was in the Medium configuration with 4 strap on solid rocket boosters.
The payload it was carrying was the WGS-4 satellite. WGS stands for Wideband Global SATCOM which is a high capacity communications satellite used by both the US and Australian Departments of Defence.
At the start of the day the weather forecast showed a 95% chance of launching which improved throughout the day to a 100% chance from the weather point of view. The only possible thing preventing the launch would have been a technical problem.
We were hoping to view the launch from the NASA causeway, about 2.5 miles from the launch pad, but due to concerns over toxins we had to relocate to the NASA Press Center which is about 6 miles away.
The countdown continued without a hitch to a 4 minute hold. At 7:34pm the countdown picked up again and continued all the way to an on-time launch at 7:38. Our launch video shows the roll back of the mobile service tower in the morning, followed but the launch. The video tracks the flight of the Delta IV rocket from launch through SRB separation to Main Engine Cut Off (MECO).
After a very early start this morning we headed out to SLC-37 to set up remote cameras for the launch tonight.
In a convoy of about a dozen cars we made our way onto the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station for the 10 mile trip to the launch pad. We arrived at the gates to launch pad 37 at about 8:30 and waited a short while before being counted in the perimeter gate.
We had an hour to set up the cameras before the Mobile Service Tower was rolled back to expose the Delta IV rocket. As it happened it was the usual “Hurry up and wait” procedure, the MST roll back started at about 10:40 and took about 30 minutes to fully expose the rocket.
With a 95% chance of launch from the weather officer the only possible thing too prevent the launch would be a technical problem, and none are being worked at the moment.
Our MST roll back and launch pad gallery follows… READ MORE »
If you are planning to watch the Delta IV WGS-4 launch on Thursday evening then you will probably find that there will not be too many people joining you and you will be able to get your pick of viewpoints.
There are 2 great locations, SR-401 by the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station gates and Jetty Park. Moving further afield just about anywhere on Cocoa Beach will get a good view, but not until the rocket has left the pad.
As the launch is in the evening after dusk then Jetty Park is likely to be shut so that really only leaves the option of the SR-401. This is about 8 miles from Launch Pad 37B and has a full unobstructed view of the rocket over the waters of the Banana River.
Click here for a detailed Google map.
Below is a video of a Delta IV heavy launch shot from form the SR401 viewpoint:
The first launch of 2012 from Cape Canaveral, Florida will be a Delta IV carrying the military WGS-4 communications satellite into orbit. The WGS system is a high capacity communications network run by the Air Force Space Command’s Space and Missile Systems Center.
The WGS-4 Satellite is a 13,200lb (6,000Kg) spacecraft specialising in communications. with 19 independent coverage areas the communications coverage can be tailored to precise requirements within the satellite’s field of view.
The Delta IV rocket is scheduled to launch from Cape Canaveral Launch Complex 37 between 7:38pm and 9:11pm on Thursday 19th January 2012 EST, or 12:28am to 2:11am GMT.
If you are in Florida and want to view the launch live then the best place to watch is from SR401 behind the Cruise Terminal at Port Canaveral. From here the launch pad is about 8 miles away with a full view of the rocket as it sits on the pad during the countdown.
If you are not able to make it to the actual launch then ULA will be providing a live webcast of the lift off from 7:18pm EST on the ULA website.