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June 30, 2011

Did you see last night's rocket launch?

The Sun's Jessica Anderson reported that the satellite launch went off Wednesday night just after 11 p.m. from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport at Wallops Island, Virginia. A couple of people commented on the article as well as on this blog, sharing what they saw.

Anyone else see it last night? Tell us about it in the comments. 

Posted by Kim Walker at 12:29 PM | | Comments (6)
Categories: Sky Watching


It was a great night--saw the ISS just as you said, coming right through Ursa Major. Then went to the NASA website to wait for the launch, it finally happened 1109pm Wednesday. Ran right outside and there was an orange ball going up in the southeast! With binoculars, could see smoke trail and stages separating. Stood on my front steps in Glen Burnie, visibility was great. Thanks for letting us know about these spectacular events, Frank!

As viewed from Glen Arm, MD. Launch appeared as a small orange ball rising up from the SSE horizon, visible to the naked eye; very faint trail. Visible for approximately 3-4 minutes as it continued to rise above the horizon before fading from view. BTW, the international space station appeared over the NW horizon right on schedule; very bright, it cut straight through the big dipper. After passing directly overhead heading to the SE, it began to fade very quickly from view (due to haze; high clouds?).

I saw the rocket blasting off in the SSE at 11:10 PM from my front steps in Canton. It looked like a redish star going from south to north.

Yes, I saw the launch.
It was launched just few minutes after original launch time. It was quick and I saw it from clear sky.

I don't know why they stated it was rescheduled to launch around 11:00 pm.

Yes, I saw the launch.
It was launched just few minutes after original launch time. It was quick and I saw it from clear sky.

I don't know why they stated it was rescheduled to launch around 11:00 pm.

From what I could understand listening to the NASA website, the delay was due to an electrical problem with one of the rocket's systems. The engineers went through a long checklist before re-clearing the rocket for launch. I saw it clearly from my front yard in Glen Burnie, with binoculars, could even see exhaust trail and stages separating.

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About Frank Roylance
This site is the Maryland Weather archive. The current Maryland Weather blog can be found here.
Frank Roylance is a reporter for The Baltimore Sun. He came to Baltimore from New Bedford, Mass. in 1980 to join the old Evening Sun. He moved to the morning Sun when the papers merged in 1992, and has spent most of his time since covering science, including astronomy and the weather. One of The Baltimore Sun's first online Web logs, the Weather Blog debuted in October 2004. In June 2006 Frank also began writing comments on local weather and stargazing for The Baltimore Sun's print Weather Page. Frank also answers readers’ weather queries for the newspaper and the blog. Frank Roylance retired in October 2011. Maryland Weather is now being updated by members of The Baltimore Sun staff

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