Launch Images from LRO/LCROSS Successfull Liftoff

by Nancy Atkinson on June 18, 2009

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Liftoff! A patient launch control team waited out stormy weather on Thursday, and finally were able to give a green light for the last launch opportunity of the day for the Atlas rocket carrying the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) and Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite (LCROSS). The duo lifted off at 21:42 pm GMT (5:32 pm EDT), climbing through some impressive looking clouds and quickly heading to space. For more information about the missions, see our LRO/LCROSS preview article. View the video of the launch, above, and using the wonders of NASA TV on the web and my image clipping tool here are more pictures from the launch:

Here are a few pre-launch images:

Credit: NASA TV

Credit: NASA TV


Credit: NASA TV

Credit: NASA TV



Shortly after liftoff with the launch complex visible below:
Credit: NASA TV

Credit: NASA TV



View from the spacecraft heading up through the clouds.

Credit: NASA TV

Credit: NASA TV



The curvature of Earth and the blackness of space visible from this image taken by cameras on the spacecraft.
Credit: NASA TV

Credit: NASA TV


As of this writing, all systems are in good shape.

About 

Nancy Atkinson is Universe Today's Senior Editor. She also is the host of the NASA Lunar Science Institute podcast and works with Astronomy Cast. Nancy is also a NASA/JPL Solar System Ambassador.

tegwilym June 18, 2009 at 3:41 PM

I can’t wait to see the images of the old Apollo landing sites!

Manu June 18, 2009 at 3:46 PM

‘The curvature of Earth’: you mean, fish-eye lens distortion!
Also accounting for the apparently ‘flat’ rocket side.

Feenixx June 19, 2009 at 12:34 AM

This is possibly the most “aesthetic” launch of anything I saw on video. It looked so cool, so perfect… almost as if it was “faked” using CG ;)

Let’s hope it’s a “sign” for a successful mission.

Manu June 19, 2009 at 2:14 AM

Well I might have been wrong up there, sorry.
I’m no longer sure a fish-eye lens was used during the main part of the video (which I had not seen before), but then that rocket side is really flat?
However it was a fish-eye that shot the fairing separation, the distortion is obvious with inverted Earth curvature.

Torbjorn Larsson OM June 19, 2009 at 11:53 AM

Back to The Future!

No, really, good start, and congrats, or as we say today here in Sweden, between the many rounds of vodka shots and pickled herrings (and blogs, apparently :-o): “God Midsommar(afton)” (Good Midsummer (Eve)).

Btw, I’m amazed of the amount of expensive ice that people find they want to lug into space. Are deicing techniques really so heavy/even more expensive, wow.

Jon Hanford June 20, 2009 at 3:40 PM

Just glad to see these these 2 lunar probes finally get off the ground as this means the adventure has only just begun :)

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