Re: Pegasus WIRE Launch Seen from Phoenix
Fri, 5 Mar 1999 05:49:09 EST

Randy John wrote:

<<  Jake,
   The launch azimuth of the Dec 5, 1998 launch (SWAS) was 156 (moving along
the coast).  This evening's had a launch azimuth of 188 (away from the coast).
That should explain why it wasn't as high above the horizon.  From my
perspective (SF bay area) they are all go pretty much the same direction --
away from me!  I get to look up the tail pipe.  I saw tonight's launch and it
was a quite a sight to see it 'light up' when it entered sunlight.
                Randy   >>

Thanks, Randy, for the explanation.  That's sort of what I thought but didn't
know how to interpret or take the time to find the data.  Glad you saw it and
thanks for posting a report.

Five of the LA TV stations had video of the Pegasus.  I was able to monitor
most of the late news broadcasts.  But they all used what appeared to be the
same video; same framing; same camera movement.  It showed the bright Pegasus
light source and the expanding triangular exhaust plume behind it.  One
anchorman said the video was taken from Santa Clarita which is just 25 min.
north of where I live.  The others inferred that it was taken from Vandenberg.
I believe the former (Santa Clarita).  I think a freelance "stringer"
cameraman got the video and sold it to all the stations.  I just think it was
just a little disappointing that there were not more varied perspectives.  But
at least they showed it and explained what it was.  Possibly, if there had not
been so many clouds, more stations would have shot it from their parking lots.

I watched the late news of one Santa Barbara station on
The anchor woman explained in ho-hum
fashion that there had been another Vandenberg launch tonight.  Behind her was
a still frame of a video of a rocket lifting off vertically off the launch
pad.  Uh, NO!  That's not how it happened!!  But do they really care?

Dave Ransom posted his report in his News & Comments column at:

--  Jake Rees
    Burbank, California
    (space launch zealot and media critic)