It is hard to believe that another year has already passed since I presented my favorite spaceflight photos of 2012, and wow, what a year that was with the Space shuttle delivery flights around the United States! This year however I got to focus on launches, five of them to be exact from the West Coast at Vandenberg Air Force Base to the shores of Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.
A ground squirrel emerges from its hole to check out the United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket at Vandenberg Air Force Base.
A United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket lifts off from SLC-3 at Vandenberg Air Force Base with NASA’s Landsat Data Continuity Mission.
A remote camera view of a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket lifting off from SLC-3 at Vandenberg Air Force Base with NASA’s Landsat Data Continuity Mission from a nearby hill.
A United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket lifts off from LC-41 at Cape Canaveral carrying the US Air Forces’ Space-Based Infrared System (SBIRS) providing missile defense for the United States.
A United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket lifts off from Complex 41 at Cape Caveral, FL carrying a GPS satellite for the United States Air Force.
Orbital Science’s Lockheed L-1011 “Stargazer” sits on the Hot Pad at the Vandenberg Air Force Base runway on Tuesday, June 25th. The venerable airplane, the final L-1011 in service in the United States is carrying the Pegasus rocket, a 55ft long and 51,000 lb rocket. The mission will carry the IRIS satellite, an exploration mission that will observe the suns atmosphere.
A United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket lifts off from Complex-41 at 9:00am Friday, July 19th. The rocket is carrying the U.S. Navy’s Mobile User Objective System-2 Satellite providing better communication for U.S. forces.
NASA’s Mars bound Maven spacecraft launches from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station’s Launch Complex-41 on an United Launch Alliance Atlas V. The Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN’s (MAVEN) prime mission is to study the upper atmosphere of the Red Planet.
And that concludes my look back at 2013! It was a privilege to cover these launches for Spaceflightnow.com and I look forward to another exciting year in 2014!
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