Rocket’s Red Glare on the Susquehanna

At just after 8:30 this evening, an Antares rocket carrying a Cygnus supply capsule launched from the NASA flight facility on Delmarva Peninsula at Wallops Island, Virginia.  We took a walk on the Veterans Memorial Bridge over the Susquehanna at Columbia-Wrightsville to have a look at the spacecraft as it powered its way into orbit for a rendezvous with the International Space Station.

Unfortunately, a smoky haze from wildfires still burning in Canada obscured our view of the ascending rocket as it cleared our horizon and made its way downrange across the Atlantic.

Antares rocket launch through smoke haze.
This faint glow from the Antares rocket was visible through thick haze in the southeast sky for less than ten seconds.

But on the brighter side, we were spared any significant disappointment.  It just so happened that the Antares/Cygnus rocket wasn’t the only launch visible from the Veteran’s Memorial Bridge this evening…

A rocket climbing skyward above Columbia, Pennsylvania.
Fireworks Above Columbia, Pennsylvania
A National Night Out fireworks display in Columbia preceded the Antares rocket launch.
Fireworks "Grande Finale" on the Susquehanna at Columbia, PA
This fireworks grand finale on the Susquehanna ended just minutes prior to the liftoff in Virginia.
Fishing the Eelgrass Beds
Smoke and rockets aside, it was an otherwise peaceful and picturesque evening to be on the river.

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