SpaceX (CRS-7) launch

We were out in Orlando for the weekend (more about that later) and as luck would have it, were able to find a spot to watch the SpaceX Dragon launch (CRS-7) off US-528 a few miles from the launch site. This was the first rocket launch I've seen in person and "up close", so I was pretty excited. There were a fair number of people gathered at the same spot to see the launch too, but it wasn't super crowded fortunately. The mid-morning launch also meant the sun was hot, but not unbearably so. I even had a random eyeball QSO with another ham who spotted me tuning around on my HT listening for any launch related radio chatter.

Managed to get some pretty decent pictures of the launch and the rocket ascending with my SLR and 300mm lens. The images are cropped in from the original with some histogram enhancement applied.

Launch time!

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About 20 seconds or so after the launch, the loud rumbling sound of the rocket firing reached us.

This was the last photo I took of the rocket before it disappeared behind the cloud. Not long after this shot, Connie told me the rocket had blown up.

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The crowd starting to leave the observing site after the launch.

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It was a very exciting first launch experience, although hearing about the rocket failure was very disappointing. I'm glad Connie found us a good spot to catch the launch from.