Minuteman Rocket launch at Vandenberg, viewed from Kitt Peak

On the night of Saturday, October 2, 1999, while observing at the Spacewatch Telescope on Kitt Peak in Arizona, I had the opportunity to view a Minuteman rocket launch from Vandenberg AFB (California). Launch occured shortly after sunset at the launch site, and less than 50 minutes after local sunset on Kitt Peak. The following photographs were taken by me starting shortly after the rocket appeared over my horizon. I used a YashicaMat 124G medium format camera and Provia 400 slide film, varying the exposure between about 10 and 30 seconds in the series of 6 images (4 are shown below).

First image
Second image
Third image
Final image of rocket plume.

Here is Brian Webb's images of the same launch taken from much closer range to the Vandenberg launch site.


Jim Scotti

Last update: August 4, 2003