[Photograph of Neil Fraser]

Neil Fraser

For the past decade I've been a software engineer at Google in California.  In my spare time I've created a mélange of open-source software.  I've also built some rather unusual hardware.  On rare occasions I've even been known to write something interesting.

SAOCOM 1A Monday, 8 October 2018

Sierra and I drove down to Vandenberg Air Force Base for the third time to see a launch. The first time we saw nothing since the launch was scrubbed. The second time we saw nothing since the fog rolled in and obscured everything. Third time was the charm. Here's the video:

We watched from Hawk's Nest, a lookout some 14km from the launch pad (hence the 40 second delay on sound). Although it is far away, it has the advantage of being above any fog. This particular launch was about half an hour after sunset, so the exhaust gasses were lit up by the sun, against a dark sky. The result was spectacular. This was also the first launch from California that also featured a visible landing (previous launches landed on a drone ship far offshore).

For more information about this mission, see the official video from SpaceX.

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