Launch: Panoramas

Because I recently learned how to use a panorama stitching tool (you probably noticed), I felt like taking several panoramas on launch day—especially when it became clear that we would actually launch. But because I am now really busy and (at least for now) sleep deprived, and because the interestingness of photographs might drop off, I will be rationing my launch-day photos until I can get through them all.

To start with, I have the panoramas that I’ve roughly stitched together during brief breaks in the early-flight action. Not all are good, none are finished, and at least one wasn’t originally intended to be stitched together, but they’re good enough now to share.

Like our last rollout, I decided to document the weather in the morning. This was a “Marginal Marginal” day. Launch was still very uncertain (even doubtful) when I took this picture.

The parachute, in a slightly mangled mashup

I took a bunch of pictures of the parachute. There are just barely enough to kind of stitch this mashup together

360 degree view from my pre-inflation vantage point, at the side of the pad

Until after the first little bit of inflation, I was allowed to go off to the side of the pad to take pictures of the process. While waiting for inflation to start, I took a 360 degree panorama: pad on the left, highbay in middle, and mountains to the right

Full flightline panorama inflation. This picture is the primary reason I was placed beside the pad for as long as I was allowed to stay

This flightline panorama was the primary reason I was stationed out by the side of the pad. Shortly after taking this I had to leave for the highbay’s deck, where everyone was being herded by the safety officers

A little further into inflation, I took a very similar set of shots from the deck. Because the winds were towards the highbay, we were forced inside for he launch itself. Very disappointing.

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