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Deep Impact Launch

··1 min

Today we witnessed the launch of the Deep Impact probe sent to crash into a comet on July 4, 2005. Since it was a joint project between the University of Maryland and NASA among others, we were able to get VIP seating to view the launch. That basically means that instead of being about 10 or 12 miles away at the Kennedy Space Center visitor’s center, we were driven to a viewing area about 4 miles away.

We were able to see the Delta II rocket ignite and rise off of its pad. It looked to be about a half an inch tall. A few seconds after we saw it ignite, we finally heard it. It was impressively loud.

The pictures I took with my little pentax digital camera are pretty lame; you can’t even see the rocket – just the trail of smoke behind it. I haven’t watched the home-video on a large screen yet, but it is probably just as impressively lame. The fact that I fumble-fingered the pause button a few seconds before ignition probably doesn’t help, either…