Astronomy Picture of the Day



Minotaur Dawn

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#97333 by @ 22.12.2006 00:00 - nach oben -
Minotaur Dawn


Explanation:

Last Saturday,
some colorful dawn skies along the US east coast
featured the Moon and a
Minotaur rocket
climbing
into low Earth orbit.

The 7AM
launch
of the four stage Air Force
Minotaur I rocket
took place at
NASA's Wallops
Flight Facility
on Virginia's eastern shore.

Looking east, the rocket is visible beyond the top of the
twisting exhaust plume
in this wide angle view, with the waning crescent Moon
at the upper right.

The snapshot was taken from Alexandria, Virginia, some
100 miles northwest of Wallops Island.

Orbital
launches
from Wallops have so far been relatively rare,
the last two taking place in 1995 and 1985.

As a result, many early morning risers reported the unusual
spectacle.

The rocket's payload was the Air Force Research Laboratory's
TacSat-2
satellite and NASA's
GeneSat-1
microsatellite.




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