July 2001 Observations

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  • July 12, 2001 ( 05:12:30 EDT) - Visually observed STS-104 main tank seperation after an 05:04 AM EST launch, from near Woodfield Maryland, while on the way to work. The seperation began to occur exactly 8 minutes 30 seconds after launch, as the shuttle achieved orbit. A persistant train of 5 or 6 degrees in length, appeared and lasted up to 5 seconds as the sunlight, while below the horizon from my point of view, illuminated the trail. Immediately after, the other rockets fired and appeared to be blue white in color while previously, the flame had been distinctly orange in color. It was very spectacular!