Well OK, maybe not THE Zorro, but pretty darn close as far as the Z goes. This is actually the contrail from the Atlas V rocket, launched from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Space Launch Complex this morning.
Having witnessed Shuttle launches from Florida in the past, which were awesomely impressive – I made sure I was down by the lake at 8:30 in the morning for a clear view straight across the flatlands to Canaveral, less than 60 miles away.
Launch time approached, the winds died down, and the three people (including me) who showed up to watch were all eyes to the sky. I anticipated lots of contrail, orange engine glow, a good view of the rocket, and maybe even a rumble.
And there it was! What? That’s it? That skinny silver speck with that little jet-trail behind it? It was over in a minute..and the wind picked up the contrail, creating that Zorro Z in the sky.
What I learned today….Atlas rockets are never to be compared in awesomeness to the Shuttle launches…but the whole concept is still amazing. That rocket was in space before I arrived back home, just a short walk away.