Index Home About Blog
Date: 10 Nov 82 3:57:46-PST (Wed)
To: space at Mit-Mc
From: harpo!eagle!karn at Ucb-C70
Subject: Re: watching military launches

The military has always been secretive about their launches.  They often
don't even tell people with a good reason to know.

Remember the case of the poor guy working alone in the Columbia's cockpit
late one night several days before a launch?  He felt the shuttle rumble
and heard a roar.  Thinking that the boosters had somehow ignited, the
poor guy dived for the escape hatch.  It turned out that the Air Force had
decided to launch a Titan III that evening from a nearby pad without
telling anybody.

I do know of one case where several non-military types I know found out
ahead of time about a Vandenburg launch.  They were preparing for a
scientific Delta launch when word came around to "stay away from pad
such-and-such during the following hours today".  Of course, they
immediately headed for the beach about a mile from the Titan launch pad,
and were subsequently treated to the experience of a Titan III flying
directly overhead.  It was said to rival any 4th of July display.  The MPs
stopped by to confiscate film, but didn't chase anybody away.

Phil Karn

Index Home About Blog