Antares rocket launches new astronaut toilet and more to space station for NASA

rod

Oct 22, 2019
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I watched this rocket launch last night from about 80 miles away from an overlook area near me. I used 10x50 binoculars and smartphone device to monitor the Wallops Island site online. It only took a second or so after liftoff before I could see that rocket blasting up! I was able to track for six minutes or so, more than 130 miles down range from the launch site before disappearing from view, low near the horizon. With the binoculars, I could see first stage booster turnoff, and then shortly after second stage light up. The rocket climbed up high and then moved out over the Atlantic, finally disappearing from view because of the very large, round Earth as it traveled across the curvature away from me, continuing to climb up to orbital altitude :) When I came back to my place, some enjoyable telescope time viewing the Moon and Mars. Mars was a great sight last night at 180x and at lower power (31x), the lunar limb with Aristarchus crater area and small, planetary disk shape of Mars visible in the eyepiece. Very cool and would make a great photo. Mars about 155x farther away than the Moon when I viewed. Mars, even at 40x using filters showed some surface detail.
 
Apr 7, 2020
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I watched this rocket launch last night from about 80 miles away from an overlook area near me. I used 10x50 binoculars and smartphone device to monitor the Wallops Island site online. It only took a second or so after liftoff before I could see that rocket blasting up! I was able to track for six minutes or so, more than 130 miles down range from the launch site before disappearing from view, low near the horizon. With the binoculars, I could see first stage booster turnoff, and then shortly after second stage light up. The rocket climbed up high and then moved out over the Atlantic, finally disappearing from view because of the very large, round Earth as it traveled across the curvature away from me, continuing to climb up to orbital altitude :) When I came back to my place, some enjoyable telescope time viewing the Moon and Mars. Mars was a great sight last night at 180x and at lower power (31x), the lunar limb with Aristarchus crater area and small, planetary disk shape of Mars visible in the eyepiece. Very cool and would make a great photo. Mars about 155x farther away than the Moon when I viewed. Mars, even at 40x using filters showed some surface detail.
Hi Rod!
Curious, were you able to hear it at all?

Eric
 
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rod

Oct 22, 2019
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Eric, no I did not hear the rocket. It would take about 6 minutes or so for the sound waves to reach me from where I was observing. The smart device audio was turned up as we listened to the Wallops Ustream link and some were talking too (I was not alone). I can say now, I am perhaps one of a smaller group who observed a new toilet launched into space by NASA :) I have witnessed other rocket launches from Wallops Island at the overlook area. In the past when it was quite, my son did hear some low sound rumbling in the distant (I may have too), some minutes after launch. When Wallops Ustream called the rocket passing max q and then passing 100,000 feet, that was quite a show from 80+ miles distance and with the binoculars, still seeing the rocket some 130 miles or more down range over the Atlantic ocean, 6 minutes or so later after liftoff. Remember, I was watching a toilet get launched into space :) Enjoy---Rod
 
Apr 7, 2020
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Rod, I envy you! Living near Wallops must be a blast!
I was curious because sound waves can carry quite far and unpredictably. During the Mt. St. Helens eruption some people who were right on top of the eruption (just a few miles away) heard nothing but people hundreds of miles away heard it.
BTW The Mars-Moon conjunction was beautiful.
 

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