Space and astronomy news and information for the American Southwest. Coverage includes Vandenberg AFB rocket and missile launches.

Delta II Rocket / Iridium MS-11 Launch

2018 December 2

Delta II rocket launch photo

Photo of the 1998 November 6 morning twilight launch of a Delta II rocket from Vandenberg AFB. The vehicle successfully placed the Iridium 2, Iridium 83, Iridium 84, Iridium 85, and Iridium 86 communications satellites into orbit.

This image shows the sunlit exhaust plume from the first stage main engine suspended against a dark sky. This was a difficult scene to record on film because it involved using a telephoto lens to photograph a faint subject with an exposure that was short enough to prevent the image from being smeared by the vehicle's motion. This photo was taken by Brian Webb from a hill 108 statute miles (174 kilometers) east-southeast of the launch site.

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