Space Ship One launch.


Mojave CA, June 21, 2004
Part of the airport with wind turbines on the surrounding hills
Quite a few of the pictures were taken with me holding the camera at arms length., I lucked out and managed to get the craft near the center
The viewing area was to the west of the runway. Early morning. Guess where the sun was.
Here's the chase plane
Staged and ready to go
Chase plane leaving
SS1 leaving
Yep, they're up there all right
the next hour and a half was spent trying to keep track of the aircraft as they were ascending to launch altitude. When they were in the direction of the sun, it was hard to find them. If they were west, it was easier to spot. there was a haze in the distance, so sometimes they got lost in the haze.
Shortly before rocket ignition, the contrails were picked up midway between the sun and the horizon. The contrails were kind of faint, all of a sudden you could see the plume from the rocket; the crowd let out a cheer when that happened. The streak was fast enough that I didn't want to waste time trying to photo it.
The next couple of minutes was a waiting game. All of a sudden there was a quick two sonic booms. Crowd cheered again. Here's a picture of SS1 with the Starship chase aircraft




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