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:
Shortly after liftoff with the launch complex visible below:
View from the spacecraft heading up through the clouds.
The curvature of Earth and the blackness of space visible from this image taken by cameras on the spacecraft.
As of this writing, all systems are in good shape.
Nancy Atkinson is currently Universe Today’s Contributing Editor. Previously she served as UT’s Senior Editor and lead writer, and has worked with Astronomy Cast and 365 Days of Astronomy. Nancy is the author of the new book “Incredible Stories from Space: A Behind-the-Scenes Look at the Missions Changing Our View of the Cosmos.” She is also a NASA/JPL Solar System Ambassador.