NASA shows off incredible images of rocket launch — including one in infrared!
posted Thursday, September 19, 2013 at 2:10 PM EDT
Yesterday, space company Orbital Sciences Corporation launched its own rocket, which is now on its way to take supplies up to the International Space Station (ISS). Taking off from NASA's launchpad in Virgina, the Orbital Sciences Corporation Antares rocket, with attached Cygnus cargo spacecraft, is delivering 1,300 pounds of food and clothes up to the Expedition 37 crew.
This an immensely important launch as it's a private company under contract, rather than NASA itself, putting a rocket in the sky as part of a growing move towards the privatization of transport into space. And, of course, with it being a big launch, there are plenty of pretty images to go alongside it. Both NASA and Orbital have released a number of images on Flickr of the launch. We've included a few below, but perhaps the most intriguing is the first one: a false-color infrared image of the launch captured by NASA. Taken with a modified Nikon D700, the infrared shot provides a very different look at how a rocket launch happens.
The launch seems to have been a success, with the Antares pushing the Cygnus up far enough to get it into orbit. The Cygnus is now in the process of maneuvering towards the ISS for its dock. It will then be unloaded, filled up with trash, and released to burn up in the atmosphere.