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Minotaur/ORS-3
(2013-11-19 20:15)


About this Object

The Nov. 19, 2013 launch of a U.S. Air Force Minotaur I rocket from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport's Pad 0B at NASA's Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia carried the Air Force's Operationally Responsive Space Office's ORS-3 mission and 28 small cubesat satellites. The Minotaur's primary payload was the Space Test Program Satellite-3 (STPSat-3), an Air Force technology demonstration mission. Thirteen of the cubesats aboard are being provided through NASA's Cubesat Launch Initiative. Among the cubesats is NASA's Small Satellite Program PhoneSat 2nd-generation smartphone mission. Also included is the first cubesat built by high school students.

About this Image

This was a fun project. The launch was originally expected at 7:30pm, so I hurried home and gathered everything that I would need to capture images. I had my gear ready to go at 6:30, and went to NASA TV online and learned that the countdown was in a hold status at T-1 hour. The countdown had resumed after dinner, so I left the house to go capture images at T-30 minutes, or at 7:45. I noted that it was 8:11pm when I completed my setup and was ready to image. After watching my cell phone clock turn over to 8:14, I counted 45 second under my breath, and started the camera, which was set to take a series of 15 second exposures. The rocket's glare could be seen in the second image, and the 6 images that followed.


--- Date/Time ---
Local: 2013-11-19 20:15:00
UTC: 2013-11-20 00:15:00

--- Location ---
Our Lady of Good Counsel High School, Olney MD
(Latitude N39.14°, Longitude W77.05°, Elevation 527')

--- Conditions ---
Medium seeing

--- Camera ---
Canon EOS 60Da, 32mm

--- Exposure ---
Qty 7 15-second ISO 400 f/14

--- Post-Processing ---
RegiStax, Photoshop



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