Remotes, Tweetups, and Rockets: Preparing for Launch

[youtube_video]http://youtu.be/4wPMGH1diLc[/youtube_video]

Video courtesy of AmericaSpace

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla — Covering the space program is an amazing experience. There is a tremendous amount of effort that has to go on behind the scenes to bring the sheer power, the thrill, and the spectacle of launch to the public. Do not think for an instant that it is not work. However, given the subject matter, it doesn’t feel like work (except when you’re told to be somewhere at 3 a.m., only to find out that the plans were changed late the prior day and meetup time had changed to 8 a.m.).  Having said that, we are very fortunate to have the best people in the business working for AmericaSpace.

This team makes sure in the days before launch that most of the “leg work” has already been done. The remote camera and video recorders, triggers, and timers are set, and everyone clears their schedules and appears at the correct time—whatever that might be—to set everything up for the big day. Launch day is almost a break, as now all we have to do is wait for the fictional big red “launch” button to be pushed, snap our pics, and then get to the business of processing all the content.

The launch of SBIRS GEO-2 had an extra element added to it: the first United Launch Alliance “Tweetup” held during one of the non-NASA launches. We were very fortunate to have our own Jeffrey J. Soulliere attend and report on this event as well. As stated in the video, if there is something that you’d like to see detailed about launch procedures and what it is like behind the scenes, let us know and we will try to get that to you.

Pedro A. Vasquez snapped this shot  of AmericaSpace's Senior Photographer Alan Walters during the lead up to the launch of a ULA Atlas V rocket with its SBIRS GEO 2 payload. Photo Credit: Pedro A. Vasquez

Pedro A. Vasquez snapped this shot of AmericaSpace’s Senior Photographer Alan Walters during the lead up to the launch of a ULA Atlas V rocket with its SBIRS GEO-2 payload. Walters was setting a remote camera on the camera mound across from where the Atlas was launching from. Photo Credit: Pedro A. Vasquez

 

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