“Believe me, at first, I was completely overwhelmed,” he said. “I know now that it can be explained with rocket science, but I thoroughly enjoyed the mystery of the unknown during and after the experience.”
The rocket lifted off Friday evening from Space Force Base Vandenberg, California, with a payload of about 25 satellites.
The timing of the fuel dump and the fact that it was a polar launch made the blue spiral visible over a large swath of Alaska. “We got that spiral thing that looks really cool,” Salat points out.
In January, there was another spiral, this time over the Big Island of Hawaii. A camera atop Mauna Kea outside Japan’s Subaru Telescope National Astronomical Observatory captured the swirling spiral in the night sky.