Minuteman II Launch

From: Brian Webb (102670.1206@compuserve.com)
Date: Wed Jan 19 2000 - 19:28:23 PST

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    I observed Tuesday night's Minuteman II launch from Thousand Oaks, about
    105 miles southeast of the silo. It didn't look like much until well into
    the second stage burn when it emerged into sunlight. The plume was bright,
    several degrees across, and it looked like the Chrysler corporation's
    emblem (a pentagon with five rays radiating away from the center). The
    plume eventually increased in size until it was at least 15 degrees across
    (this was just before third stage cutoff).
    I had my camera set up on a tripod and used a 50mm lens and Fuji Super G
    800 film. I shot several photos of the exhaust plume at f/2.8 using 1, 2,
    and 3 second exposures. Hopefully, I'll get a at least one good photo.
    Regarding the aerial video of the launch: The 30th Space Wing usually
    shoots video from a helicopter that's hovering above the clouds. Since the
    airspace around the launch site is closed for seveal miles in every
    direction, I'd assume that's where the launch video came from.
    Brian Webb
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