Approximately 77.62 Miles from the Launch Pad

A week ago today SpaceX launched Starship for the second time. It was a beautiful day in south Texas and as we watched the preparations for the launch on the NASA Spaceflight Youtube channel, one of the commentators remarked that people living in south Texas should be able to see the launch. As the following photos show, even from a distance of some 77.62 miles from the launch pad it was a sight to behold.

What we were watching on Youtube.

The view from our driveway to the east with the sun just starting to rise.

Less than 5 minutes till the launch and the sun is up at the launch site.

After watching the liftoff on the TV we went outside and as you can see in the photo, the exhaust plume was visible. It is the thin white streak just to the left of the streetlight. When we first went out, the ship and the flames from the Raptor engines were visible as it rose into the sky, but of course the camera was still inside so by the time I went to get the camera and returned outside, only the exhaust plume was visible. Such is life.

With time the exhaust plume became far more visible.

The explosion of the booster. We didn’t know what the big white puff was until we went back inside and heard the commentators talking about the booster exploding. From this many miles away there was no sound or shaking of the earth as the world’s most powerful rocket rose into the sky, but the launch was still really spectacular to watch. You can bet we will be better prepared to capture the launch next time. And to answer another question, yes, someday we will drive those 70 some miles over South Padre Island to see, hear and feel a Starship launch a much closer distance.