The Friedman Archives

California Images / Vapor Trails








Back in the '70's, the nearby Vandenburg Air Force Base near Lompoc, California would fire a test rocket twice a year.  The rocket would leave a residual vapor trail which looked beautiful in the sunset.

(Reader John Trask adds: "Launches were and still are made typically near sunset, because the tests target the U.S. Army's Ballistic Missile Defense Test Site at Kwajalein, in the South Pacific 4,500 miles SW of California, and 4 hours earlier (and 1 day later) which places the sun west of the incoming re-entry vehicle.")

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