On December 23rd, after multiple delays, SpaceX launched a GPS III navigation satellite for the USAF on a Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station SLC-40. This flight was expendable (no booster landing).
In the front of the video, you’ll see SpaceX’s livestream footage of the launch; to the back there’s a Google Earth video showing the location of the viewing site we filmed from; and to the sides you’ll see information about the launch (left) and payload (right).
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We were originally going to film this launch from Playalinda Beach but, due to the government shutdown, the beach was closed. We decided to try filming from a new location and ended up choosing Space View Park. Though a bit farther out than our previous ones, this location offers an unobstructed view of SLC-40 and had an excellent launch environment. We definitely recommend this location for first-time viewers!
The video appears really bright and the rocket can be hard to spot at first. This is because the sun ended up being practically right over the pad at the time of launch. No matter what location we would’ve gone to, the result would’ve been the same. Nonetheless, we’re still really happy with how the video turned out; especially with how well the crowd footage stitched!
Why would we choose a location that’s further away than where we usually film from? We did this because we film these to capture the atmosphere of a rocket launch, not necessarily the launch itself. Plus our videos would get rather boring if we filmed from the same location every launch. With this in mind, we’ll try to film from a new location during most launches!
+ Filming location: Space View Park
+ Distance: ~14 miles
+ Equipment: VRAV-II
+ Rocket: SpaceX Falcon 9
+ Booster Landing: No (Expendable)
+ Payload: GPS III-2
+ Launch Pad: SLC-40
+ Launch Window: 0851 – 0917 EST (1351 – 1417 UTC)
+ Launch Time: 0851 EST (1351 UTC)
+ Weather Favorability: 95%