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  home movies of Apollo liftoff?

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Author Topic:   home movies of Apollo liftoff?
AFbrat
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posted 06-08-2005 06:11 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for AFbrat   Click Here to Email AFbrat     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I attended an Apollo launch when I was a little kid. My father drove us out from Tampa, FL. We pulled off the highway miles from the cape and watched with lots of others.

Which Apollo mission it was remains unclear; my father took that info to his grave many years ago.

But I'm certain I can ID the liftoff if I saw footage of it taken from our perspective, several miles west of the pad. (to our eyes the rocket was a tiny, white stick on the horizon)

The rocket was totally obscured by its exhaust smoke for a few moments as it first got going, then soon after it got going it vanished behind some clouds as it arched over into orbital trajectory, giving it the appearance of totally stopping and vanishing in the sky.

Lots of cloudy days in Florida, and clouds are often highly localized -- may have been perfectly clear above the launch site, but clouded between us and the site. Worse; could be nearly identical cloud conditions for several Apollo launches!

I'd love to see photos -- or score a real home run and see home movies taken from my POV along the highway miles west of the cape.

It would help solve a lifelong mystery.

Any info on where to luck into somebody's home movies of this nature?

Any help would be appreciated.

- John

Tom
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From: New York
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posted 06-08-2005 09:38 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Tom   Click Here to Email Tom     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
John:
First of all, are you sure that you were viewing WEST of the launch pad?
The reason I ask is because the Saturn 5 vehicle was obscured by its exhaust at lift-off, only when watching from the South (or North...not many viewing areas from North however).
When viewing Saturn 5 from the West, the initial exhaust spread to the left and right of the vehicle, leaving a view of the Saturn rising above the smoke.
As far as cloudy conditions...I believe Apollo 14 launched into overcast skys, and Apollo 16 was clear but there were puffy white clouds.
Hope this helps.

dtemple
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From: Longview, Texas, USA
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posted 06-08-2005 11:25 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for dtemple   Click Here to Email dtemple     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Since you were watching a Saturn V launch, Apollo 7 can be eliminated. Since it was a daytime launch, Apollo 17 can be eliminated. Since Apollo 12 launched into overcast skies (and was struck by lightning), I believe it can be eliminated. Below are the dates and times (Eastern Time) of the launches for Apollo 8-11 and Apollo 13-16. Hope this is of some help.
Apollo 8, 12-21-68, 7:51 am
Apollo 9, 3-3-69, 11:00 am
Apollo 10, 5-18-69, 11:49 am
Apollo 11, 7-16-69, 9:32 am
Apollo 13, 4-11-70, 2:13 pm
Apollo 14, 1-31-71, 4:03 pm
Apollo 15, 7-26-71, 9:34 am
Apollo 16, 4-16-72, 12:54 pm

heng44
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posted 06-09-2005 04:16 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for heng44   Click Here to Email heng44     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Mark Gray's DVD set on the Saturn-5 contains all launches from different angles...

Ed

AFbrat
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posted 06-09-2005 11:49 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for AFbrat   Click Here to Email AFbrat     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Tom:
John:
First of all, are you sure that you were viewing WEST of the launch pad?

Yes, I've always wondered about that sticky point. We came from Tampa, FL, which is mostly due West of the cape. But you know, looking at maps now I realize most highways probably did not go cleanly East/West from Tampa. We may very well have wound our way into southerly highway to get into position. So I can't readily explain my memory of the huge exhaust cloud obscuring the rocket. It may have only partly obscured it.

But I'm sure about the rocket arching away from us -- East -- and vanishing behind clouds just as it arched over into orbital trajectory. After intermittently appearing and re-appearing between clouds, it just seemed to suddenly vanish.

I also remember it being very hot and muggy, despite our having left early in the morning. I think the launch may have been around the late morning hour.

I seem to recall lots of people on the highway doing just what we were doing; pulling over to get a look.

My older brothers seem to think it was either Apollo 8 or 11.

Thanks for the input.

- john

AFbrat
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posted 06-09-2005 11:54 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for AFbrat   Click Here to Email AFbrat     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by heng44:
Mark Gray's DVD set on the Saturn-5 contains all launches from different angles...

Ed


Yes, I have two of those great DVD sets (Apollo 11 and 16), but the footage contained in those archives were taken from cameras too close to the pad to replicate my POV.

But I did see I think it was NBC's replay of their coverage of Apollo 11, and the sporadic clouds were in their footage -- still not my POV, but pretty encouraging. Again, we were distant; there could have been an entire different set of clouds between us and the cameras at the cape. That is very typical for Florida.

thanks...

-john

AFbrat
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posted 06-09-2005 11:55 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for AFbrat   Click Here to Email AFbrat     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by dtemple:
Hope this is of some help.
Apollo 8, 12-21-68, 7:51 am
Apollo 9, 3-3-69, 11:00 am
Apollo 10, 5-18-69, 11:49 am
Apollo 11, 7-16-69, 9:32 am
Apollo 13, 4-11-70, 2:13 pm
Apollo 14, 1-31-71, 4:03 pm
Apollo 15, 7-26-71, 9:34 am
Apollo 16, 4-16-72, 12:54 pm

Thanks!

I remember it being late morning, and very hot and muggy, which doesn't really narrow things down much. But thanks.

All times are CT (US)

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