Taurus/Orbiting Carbon Observatory Launch Attempt
(Download a higher resolution picture by clicking on any picture below.)
A Taurus booster launched the orbiting Carbon Observatory from SLC-576E Vandenberg Air Force Base at 1:55 AM on Tuesday, February 24, but the payload shroud faiiled to separate. It ascended on a trajectory that arched higher above the horizon, as viewed from from my position, than other orbital launches that I have photographed.
Luminous clouds remained after the launch where the second stage had been jettisoned and the third stage ignited. The clouds are normal and are not associated with the payload shroud failure. This is a thirty-second exposure.
The clouds dissipated over the next half hour. This is a seven-minute exposure.
More Vandenberg AFB launch photography.
You can buy a 2013 calendar featuring my photographs of rocket launches from Vandenberg Air Force Base.
Photos of thirteen rocket launches from Vandenberg Air Force Base:
Pegasus-XL/Wide-Field Infra-red Explorer (WIRE) March 4, 1999
Atlas-IIAS/Terra December 18, 1999
Delta II/Gravity Probe B, April 20, 2004
Minotaur/Streak September 22, 2005
Titan IV/National Reconnaissance Office satellite, October 19, 2005
Minuteman III, February 16, 2006
Minuteman III, April 2, 2008
Target Launch Vehicle, September 24, 2008
Delta-II/GeoEye 1, September 6, 2008
Delta II/Jason 2, June 20, 2008
Delta II/COSMO-Skymed, October 24, 2008
Taurus/Orbiting Carbon Observatory, February 24, 2009
Delta-II/Worldview 2, October 28, 2009
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