JAXA's H2-B posing for a new Windows XP background

This is the observation stand of the space center. The launch is scheduled for tonight around 2:31am.


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There's nobody around, but it looks like I'm allowed to stay here (the observation deck is just outside the 3000m evacuation radius around LP1).

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The launchpad is across the sea, on the next promontory.

I wonder if I should even bother taking footage with my phone given that the launch will be professionally recorded and livestreamed from the same location.

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@codewiz It’s probably like fireworks - better watch and enjoy than focus on a tiny screen in your hands.

@tsturm The space center security car just stopped by and, politely, said that the observation deck is closed to visitors.

I asked if I can just stay inside the car in the parking lot. They made a phone call to check and... very sorry, due to Coronavirus, the entire center is closed to visitors after 5pm (but then why was it open before 5pm???)

Fuck fuck fuck.

@tagomago @tsturm @benoit Quick, think up something I could tell the guard to let me through!

"Open the barrier, quick! Yes, it's an emergency, they forgot to pack the kwepie for the resupply mission to the ISS!"

@tagomago @tsturm @benoit

I found a house by the beach with a good view and some locals setting up tripods in the yard. I asked if I could stay and watch with them, and they checked with the owner. Predictably, the owner said he only lets locals stay 😢

@tagomago @tsturm @benoit

As I was leaving, a nice girl gave me a secret tip: there's a place up a hill reserved to Hitachi employees, and further down there's 上里地区 (kamisato-chiku?). In between, there might be a spot along the road wirh a good view. Now heading there🤞

@tagomago @tsturm @benoit

@tagomago @tsturm @benoit omg omg! It's true! You can see everything from up here!

The place is not so secret after all, it has 5 stars on Google Maps and even one review 😆

Errr... I guess I'll spare you the footage from up here. This is from the OP6 with GCam's NightSight 🤦‍♀️
@tagomago @tsturm @benoit

@tagomago @tsturm @benoit This is with the P4 XL... A little better, but still not the quality I wanted 😅

@codewiz @tsturm @benoit

Yes, when I said that I thought the launch was with daylight. Very difficult to film that by night.

@tagomago @tsturm @benoit So I wonder... Those incredible astrophotography shots done with cell phones... which camera app are they using? And how are they setting up the shot? I brought a tripod, but the Night Sight shots still look like shit.

@codewiz @tsturm @benoit

I don't know, maybe they use these sort of attached lenses...?

@tagomago @tsturm @benoit oh, I figured: astro mode is auto-enabled only when thr tripod is *really* steady. But apparently it's too windy tonight...

Maybe I shouldn't have picked one of the lightest (and cheapest!) tripods they had for sale at BIC camera? 😅

Lots of people came literally out of the woodwork just minutes before launch!
@tagomago @tsturm @benoit

The Everyday Astronaut has an interesting explainer on why rockets perform roll programs:

@tagomago @tsturm @benoit

At this point, the sound from the moment of liftoff hit us like a thousand fireworks.

Actually, more like a million firecrackers. Yes, it was unexpectedly... cracky! That's so uncool, JAXA! Fix your engine sound.

@tagomago @tsturm @benoit

The H-2B quickly disappeared in the clouds. Just when we thought it was over, the light suddenly got brighter. It was too early for the separation of the four boosters, which occurs at the 2 minutes mark.

@tagomago @tsturm @benoit

By the way... no, I didn't just pump up the warmth to make my photo look cooler.

@tagomago @tsturm @benoit

Update: a friend who was an intern at SpaceX several years ago enlightened me on the origin of the crackling sounds:

@tagomago @tsturm @benoit

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