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

Titan II Rocket / DMSP F-15 Launch Photography

2008 November 24

On 1999 December 12 a refurbished Titan II ICBM lifted-off from Vandenberg AFB and inserted the Defense Meteorological Satellite Program (DMSP) F-15 military weather satellite into a polar orbit. The webmaster covered the launch from the base for a news organization and was able to take a few still photos.

Titan II rocket / DMSP F-15 military weather satellite launch photo

This image was taken during the Titan II first stage burn just before staging. The vehicle had a transparent flame and produced no trail except when it passed through the contrail zone - about 35,000-40,000 feet - as shown here. The tiny spot at the top of the trail is the rocket. This is a view looking up the contrail as the vehicle climbed steeply towards the south.

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