Love And Rockets

November 20, 2013 |  by  |  Buzz  |  , ,

 

Minotaur 1, seen from Philadelphia | Photo: Bradley Maule

Rainbows end in pots of gold, Minotaurs lead to the Disney Hole | Photo: Bradley Maule

 

Part man, part bull; part science, part entertainment. NASA and the US Air Force launched an expendable Minotaur 1 rocket Tuesday evening, releasing a record 29 new satellites into orbit, adding to the 1,000+ already up there–like the Hubble Space Telescope, the International Space Station, and the GPS jawn on your phone. The launch occurred at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility on Virginia’s eastern shore, on the other side of the bay from Chincoteague Island. The site’s south-southwest position relative to Philadelphia jibed with the city’s north-northeast/south-southwest axis, so photographically speaking, heading north for a view “due south” across the skyline down our tilted grid seemed like the move.

T-minus 10 seconds... we have liftoff | Phone screen captures, Bradley Maule

T-minus 10 seconds… we have liftoff | Phone screen captures, Bradley Maule

With a scheduled launch window of 7:30–9:15pm, I caught the 7 o’clock express to Fern Rock and hoped to make it in time to Albert Einstein Medical Center, as fine a vantage as any. With a nearly two hour window and a dying phone battery, I envisioned staring into the distant south, hands in pockets, hoping I’d maybe see it. But in a parking garage miracle, I found an outdoor electrical outlet not three feet from my tripod, plugged in my phone, and watched the NASA feed of the launch on Ustream, eagerly looking south-southeast at liftoff. Of course by this time, the rocket was already above the horizon, above the skyline, and thanks to the buffer–my own miscalculation–my camera missed the first few seconds of ascent. (I blame satellites.)

Nevertheless, for the three minutes or so Minotaur 1 sailed across the sky, it flickered between the other aircraft in an eastbound arc, its orange glow signing off to the flickering orange lights of the city–and earth–below.

About the author

Bradley Maule is co-editor of the Hidden City Daily and the creator of Philly Skyline. He's a native of Tyrone, Pennsylvania, and he's hung his hat in Shippensburg, Germantown, G-Ho, Fishtown, Portland OR, Brewerytown, and now Mt. Airy. He just can't get into Twitter, but he's way into Instagram @mauleofamerica.



2 Comments


  1. Nice work!

  2. You took me back to December 1972 when I watched on TV the launch at night of Apollo 17! I felt young once more reading your article and thought about the Apollo 17 launch when I was 19 years old then.

Leave a Reply

Comment moderation is enabled, no need to resubmit any comments posted.

Recent Posts
Ghosts Of The Abandoned Arch Street Subway Line

Ghosts Of The Abandoned Arch Street Subway Line

April 18, 2018  |  Harry K's Encyclopedia

Harry K. takes us into the abandoned subway tunnels below Arch Street with the history behind Philly's unfinished plans for a grand underground transit system > more

Unlisted Philadelphia: Tourison Building

Unlisted Philadelphia: Tourison Building

April 17, 2018  |  Unlisted Philadelphia

Ben Leech spotlights unique and significant buildings not listed on the Philadelphia Register of Historic Places with his architectural illustration series, Unlisted Philadelphia. In this installment, an Art Deco delight fills the heart of Mount Airy > more

Old Iron Works In Logan Square To Face The Wrecking Ball

Old Iron Works In Logan Square To Face The Wrecking Ball

April 13, 2018  |  News

When the housing bubble burst and the recession hit in 2007, plans to convert Creswell Iron Works on Cherry Street into apartments tanked. The quaint collection of industrial buildings is now headed for demolition. Michael Bixler has the details > more

American Revolution Landmark To Be Auctioned Off At Sheriff Sale

American Revolution Landmark To Be Auctioned Off At Sheriff Sale

April 11, 2018  |  Harry K's Encyclopedia, News

Old stone home in Frankford with ties to the Declaration of Independence goes up for auction at a sherif sale in May. Harry K. has the news and history behind this threatened national landmark > more

Time Travel At Trader Joe's Reveals Tuxedos & Snazzy Shoes

Time Travel At Trader Joe’s Reveals Tuxedos & Snazzy Shoes

April 9, 2018  |  The Shadow Knows

The Shadow makes a run to Trader Joe's where fine footwear and totally awesome 1980s tuxedos kept things classy at 2121 Market Street > more

Battered Brutalist School Awaits Neighborhood Plan

Battered Brutalist School Awaits Neighborhood Plan

April 6, 2018  |  Last Light

In Eastwick, powerful architecture battles trash and vandalism at vacant George Pepper Middle School. Michael Bixler takes a look with this photo essay. > more