Up Close Launch Pad Cameras capture Spectacular Sound and Fury of Antares/Cygnus Jan. 9 Blast off to Space Station – Video Gallery

by Ken Kremer on January 14, 2014

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Video caption: Antares ORB-1 Launch Pad Camera on south side of pad 0A being hammered from Orbital Sciences Antares rocket launch at 1:07 p.m. EST on January 9th 2014, from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility, VA, carrying the Cygnus resupply spacecraft to the ISS. Credit: Mike Killian/Jeff Seibert/Mike Barrett/AmericaSpace.com/MikeKillianPhotography.com/Wired4Space.com

What’s it like to be standing at a rocket launch pad? Especially when it’s a private spaceship embarking on a history making flight to the space station that’s blasting the opening salvos of the new ‘commercial space era’ heard round the world?

Thrilling beyond belief!

And what’s it like to be standing at the launch pad when the engines ignite and the bird begins soaring by guzzling hundreds of thousands of pounds of burning fuel, generating intense heat and deadly earsplitting noise?

Well for a first-hand, up-close adventure to hear the deafening sound and feel the overwhelming fury, I’ve collected a gallery of videos from the Jan. 9 blastoff of the privately built Antares rocket from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility, VA on a historic mission to the International Space Station (ISS).

The videos were created by a team of space journalists from a variety of space websites working together to create the best possible products for everyone’s enjoyment- including Alan Walters, Mike Killian, Matt Travis, Jeff Seibert, Mike Barrett and Ken Kremer representing AmericaSpace, Zero-G News, Wired4Space and Universe Today.

Video caption: Close up camera captures Antares liftoff carrying the Cygnus Orb-1 ISS resupply spacecraft. This was composed of 59 images taken by a Canon Rebel xti and 18 mm lens of the Antares Orbital 1 launch to the ISS on Jan. 9, 2013 at NASA Wallops Island, VA. Credit: Ken Kremer/Alan Walters/Matthew Travis/kenkremer.com

Wallops is located along the eastern shore of Virginia at America’s newest space port.

Because the launch pad is near the most heavily populated ares of the US, millions have a chance to view the launch along the US eastern seaboard.

And the pad sits almost directly on the Atlantic Ocean, so you can hear the waves constantly crashing on shore.

Well we always want to be as close as possible. But as you’ll see, it’s really not a very good idea to be right there.

North Side Launch Pad Camera Captures Antares Rocket Launch With Orbital Sciences Cygnus Orb-1 To ISS on Jan. 9, 2013 from NASA Wallops. A GoPro Hero 2 camera captures the launch of Orbital Sciences Antares rocket carrying the Cygnus spacecraft on the Orb-1 mission to resupply the International Space Station. Credit: Matt Travis/Mike Killian/MikeKillianPhotography.com/ZeroGnews.com/AmericaSpace.com

Virtually every camera on the south side got creamed and was blown over by the approaching fiery exhaust fury seen in the videos.

Amazingly they continued taking pictures of the exhaust as they were violently hit and flung backwards.

Luckily, as they were knocked over and fell to the ground, the lenses were still facing skyward and snapping away showing the sky and exhaust plume swirling around and eventually dissipating.

Antares rocket blastoff on Jan. 9 from Launch Pad 0A at NASA Wallops Flight Facility, VA lofting the Cygnus resupply vehicle on a mission for NASA bound for the International Space Station. Docking at ISS planned for Jan. 9. Both vehicles built by Orbital Sciences.  Photo taken by remote camera at launch pad. Credit: Alan Walters/AmericaSpace/awaltersphoto.com

Antares rocket blastoff on Jan. 9 from Launch Pad 0A at NASA Wallops Flight Facility, VA lofting the Cygnus resupply vehicle on a mission for NASA bound for the International Space Station. Docking at ISS planned for Jan. 9. Both vehicles built by Orbital Sciences. Photo taken by remote camera at launch pad. Credit: Alan Walters/AmericaSpace/awaltersphoto.com

Our cameras capture the experience realistically.

We’ve set them up around the north and side sides at NASA’s Wallops Launch Pad 0A on the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport (MARS).

Antares soars to space on Jan. 9, 2014 from NASA Wallops on Virginia coast on the Orb-1 mission to the ISS.  Photo taken by remote camera at launch pad. Credit: Ken Kremer - kenkremer.com

Antares soars to space on Jan. 9, 2014 from NASA Wallops on Virginia coast on the Orb-1 mission to the ISS. Photo taken by remote camera at launch pad. Credit: Ken Kremer – kenkremer.com

How do the cameras, called remotes, collect the imagery?

They are activated either by sound triggers or timers.

It takes a lot of hard work and equipment and doesn’t always work out as planned.

But the payoff when it does is absolutely extraordinary.

The Jan. 9 blast off of Orbital Sciences’ private Antares booster delivered the firm’s Cygnus Orbital-1 cargo freighter to orbit.

Orbital Sciences' Cygnus cargo spacecraft, with the moon seen in the background, is moved into installation position by astronauts using a robotic arm aboard the International Space Station Jan. 12. Credit: NASA

Orbital Sciences’ Cygnus cargo spacecraft, with the moon seen in the background, is moved into installation position by astronauts using a robotic arm aboard the International Space Station Jan. 12. Credit: NASA

Following a two day orbital chase and an intricate series of orbit raising maneuvers, the Cygnus vessel reached the station on Sunday, Jan. 12, and was berthed by astronauts maneuvering the robot arm at an Earth-facing port on the massive orbiting lab complex.

The Orbital -1 spaceship is conducting the first of 8 operational cargo logistics flights scheduled under Orbital Sciences’ multi-year $1.9 Billion Commercial Resupply Services contract (CRS) with NASA that runs through 2016.

SpaceX likewise has a contract with NASA to deliver cargo to the ISS via their Dragon spaceship. The next SpaceX launch is slated for Feb. 22.

Stay tuned here for Ken’s continuing Orbital Sciences, SpaceX, commercial space, Chang’e-3, LADEE, Mars and more news.

Ken Kremer

This Cygnus launched atop Antares on Jan. 9 and docked on Jan. 12   Cygnus pressurized cargo module – side view – during exclusive visit by  Ken Kremer/Universe Today to observe prelaunch processing by Orbital Sciences at NASA Wallops, VA. ISS astronauts will open this hatch to unload 2780 pounds of cargo.  Docking mechanism hooks and latches to ISS at left. Credit: Ken Kremer – kenkremer.com

This Cygnus launched atop Antares on Jan. 9 and docked on Jan. 12 Cygnus pressurized cargo module – side view – during exclusive visit by Ken Kremer/Universe Today to observe prelaunch processing by Orbital Sciences at NASA Wallops, VA. ISS astronauts will open this hatch to unload 2780 pounds of cargo. Docking mechanism hooks and latches to ISS at left. Credit: Ken Kremer – kenkremer.com

Space journalists Ken Kremer/Universe Today (left) and Mike Killian  and Alan Walters  of AmericaSpace (center, right) setting remote cameras at Antares launch pad amidst bone chilling cold for the photos featured herein.  Credit: Ken Kremer - kenkremer.com

Space journalists Ken Kremer/Universe Today (left) and Mike Killian and Alan Walters of AmericaSpace (center, right) setting remote cameras at Antares launch pad amidst bone chilling cold for the imagery featured herein. Credit: Ken Kremer – kenkremer.com

About 

Dr. Ken Kremer is a speaker, scientist, freelance science journalist (Princeton, NJ) and photographer whose articles, space exploration images and Mars mosaics have appeared in magazines, books, websites and calanders including Astronomy Picture of the Day, NBC, BBC, SPACE.com, Spaceflight Now and the covers of Aviation Week & Space Technology, Spaceflight and the Explorers Club magazines. Ken has presented at numerous educational institutions, civic & religious organizations, museums and astronomy clubs. Ken has reported first hand from the Kennedy Space Center, Cape Canaveral and NASA Wallops on over 40 launches including 8 shuttle launches. He lectures on both Human and Robotic spaceflight - www.kenkremer.com

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