VAFB Minuteman II Launch Observation

From: Jake Rees (
Date: Mon Jul 10 2000 - 19:49:44 PDT

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    I saw the July 7, 2000 Minuteman II launch from Burbank and it was very
    spectacular.  First an orange elongated flame (through binoculars) rising up
    from the horizon.   There were some changes in intensity due to staging
    events presumably.  Three orange "sparks" could be seen falling away behind
    the missile. Then when it reached a certain altitude it was in sunlight and
    the third stage kicked in (?).   There was a sudden circular expanding
    display (reminding me of an explosion) and a giant white diamond pattern
    grew high in the sky with an intense white light in the middle.  We were
    basically looking down the tailpipe as the missile continued to climb higher
    over the Pacific.  A blue narrow oval shape continued to remain visible in
    the sky for at least 20 min. after all else was gone.
    Jake Rees
    Burbank, CA
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