It’s not often people in South Carolina can see a rocket launch, but the Atlas V launch trajectory for Boeing’s uncrewed Starliner test took the rocket over the Atlantic ocean along the US East coast this morning making this launch visible to a lot of people.
Most launches from Cape Canaveral head east out into the Atlantic, so this one was a bit different and made for an exciting early morning show.
We were watching the live stream of the launch on the phone, so when the Atlas V lifted off, we started scanning the skies. We were looking towards the east-southeast when a couple minutes after the lift-off, I looked over to the south and saw the exhaust trail of the rocket.
It was a pretty impressive sight to see something streaking across the sky that quickly.
We followed the rocket along until after the Centaur stage separated (I think that’s what it was) and it faded into the glow of the rising sun.
Unfortunately, some issues with the Starliner’s orbit insertion left it in an unsuitable state for meeting up with the ISS, but it’s still in orbit and I’m sure they’ll spend the next couple days running all kinds of tests before its scheduled landing in New Mexico on Sunday.