Thursday, April 22, 2010

Shhhh ... The X37-B Launched

The unmanned orbiter will land by remote control at Vandenberg Air Force Base.

The X-37B, a classified "next generation" military spaceship, launched this evening from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.

Click here to watch my video of the launch from my neighborhood in north Merritt Island. You need Windows Media Player and a broadband (cable modem, DSL) Internet connection to watch.


  1. Great video, you see the fairing split as it seperates from the x 37 b. That's the stuff that appears to be falling off and away from the Atlas V.
    Nice shooting, loved the background noise as well.

  2. Nice catch of the fairing sep, as Lou said. Had a lot of people confused last night, including myself.

  3. Maybe it's because I'm new to town, but I'm always amazed by how many people simply ignore launches. You can hear the noise in the background. People driving by, children playing in the streets. They can see it, they can hear it, but they don't seem to care.

    There are individual exceptions, of course. When a launch is on NASA Channel, I'll see people step outside about a minute before launch. If it's not on NASA Channel (i.e. it's a non-NASA launch from CCAFS) then I don't see many people come out. I have a neighbor who works for United Launch Alliance, so he tends to step out for CCAFS launches, but he's about the only one.

    I really want to go over to the 528 Causeway and film a CCAFS launch from there.

  4. Hey Stephen. Nice video!

    Next time come view the launch with me where I watched last night: river bank, north side of the NASA causeway, across from the old badging station. Except for a couple fishing, I had the place to myself. Closest "civilian" viewing spot for Pad 41. Vehicle visible on the pad. Gorgeous, quiet, natural Florida: an ideal place to watch (and listen to)a slow, arduous and old fashioned (non-SRB) climb to orbit!

    Oh, and let's get there early so we can chat some about the BIG issues I have with so much of what you write... ;]

  5. Excellent video Stephen. I had to come back and thank you for it. I'm hoping you have plans for ~May 8th...

    What lens are you using and do you plan on upgrading as the years go by?

  6. To Russell in Cocoa:

    Thanks for the suggestion with the location. I've considered that. When we were renting a condo in Cape Canaveral, we'd go over there for Shuttle launches. I was never there for a CCAFS launch, though.

    As for the issues with my writing, I've no problem defending my position. In fact, right now I'm reading "Challenger: A Major Malfunction" by Malcolm McConnell. I realize it's a golden oldie, but it has a lot of history about the politics of how Shuttle came to be, and I see a lot of that going on now with Constellation.

    To Bennett:

    I think you meant what kind of camcorder am I using. It's a Sony HDR-FX7. You can Google it for features. My old camcorder passed away last month from natural causes. This one has a 20x optical zoom; the old one was 12X, so I can get more distant shots more clearly.

    I use the camcorder mostly for my baseball web sites, and I've been covering the Angels' minor leagues since 1998. When I moved here last summer, I set up the new site to cover pro and amateur adult baseball here in Brevard County.

    I also do a lot of baseball photography with equally expensive camera equipment. :-)

  7. Is Russel talking about the old badging station just past the Astronaut Hall of Fame? If he is your 1 mile closer at your house. It's 12.5 miles from the badging station, 11.4 miles from your house and 12.75 miles from the 528 causeway. It would seem though that your best unobstructed view would be from the 528.

  8. To Rob:

    I assumed he was talking about a location on 401 approaching CCAFS, near the Port.

    Russell, correct me if I'm wrong.

    Rob, I agree the most dramatic shot would be from 528 looking north on the Banana River.