Thursday, September 22, 2005


Vandenberg AFB Rocket Launch

Here are some photos and a report from tonight's rocket launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base.

I got the big lens, the tripod, and the remote shutter release switch hauled up to the Secret Garden at the top of my back slope. Everything fit together ok, but the camera acted like it wouldn't take photos once it was on the tripod. I tried a few test shots, and the shutter just would not release after focusing. I think the weight of the lens had something to do with it, because after shifting it around, it started working again.

Michael helped by dropping and breaking the flashlight (I fixed it in the dark, go spatial relationship skills!), dropping his lego car into the thorns, falling off the upper garden terrace three times, tripping over the tripod, yelling down at the neighbors to tell them all about the impending rocket launch, and despite all this being cheerful in the face of a whole *nine minutes* of waiting for the really bright, very dramatic rocket to rise in the north about an hour after sundown.

(Nine minutes for a 4-year-old being the equivalent of waiting 853 minutes for the average adult. Since none of us are average, you will have to perform your particular conversion factor on the back of that envelope sitting over there on your bill pile. )

Now he wants to go "to the rocket place!" which I suppose means we really must go to the Aerospace Museum at Balboa Park.

Photos here.

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