CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla — For those used to archival footage of the early days of space flight, watching modern-day launches must seem a tad dull. These days, launches are, by and large, happening on time and as planned. Such was the case with this past week’s launch of a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket with its GPS IIF-4 payload. Conducted for the U.S. Air Force, this launch took place under blue skies, with only a few contrails making their mark across the blue.
The launch window opened at 5:38 p.m. EDT Wednesday, May 15, 2013, and liftoff occurred right on time. It is always fun to watch those who have not attended a launch before. When covering the space program, after a while one gets used to the sights and sounds of launch. We can almost forget what a thrill it is to see one of these vehicles thunder off the pad and into orbit. There were a few of these folks at this launch, and the looks on their faces after the launch reminded all of us why we got into this business in the first place.
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