We were on bleachers at the Kennedy Space Center’s Saturn V facility to watch the OSIRIS-REx launch on September 8th. OSIRIS-REx (Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Idenentification, Security – Regolith Explorer) is a mission to fly to, study, and retrieve a sample from the asteroid Bennu and return the sample to earth. The launch happened shortly after 7 PM at the beginning of the launch window on the 8th and the first day in its launch schedule. The clouds built up in the afternoon but were benign by launch time. The evening was still hot and humid – typical for Florida in early September. We arrived about an hour before the launch and watched the outgassing from the fueling process (the white plume to the right of the rocket).
The slide show below shows my pictures of the first minute of the launch. Even in that short period of time – I had to adjust the zoom to keep the rocket in the frame!
By 3 minutes after launch – only the drifting plume remained.
My husband took my favorite picture of the launch with distinct Atlas and solid rocket plums. Awesome!