Soyuz 2015 Launch Observations with James Oberg

Everybody ‘knows’ what rocket launches LOOK like, but the Soyuz launch last December occurred under rare twilight conditions and with an unprecedented range of observers on the ground, in the air, and in orbit. They watched — and recorded! — dynamic ascent phases that when compared to the known timeline show remarkably detailed events. With dashcams now so common along the ascent track, and with the ISS cupola giving such s wide-angle view, more and more twilight launch events are being recorded and shared, some of them anticipated and others entirely by chance. They provide new insights into the dynamics of the engine-generated thruster plume evolution, and in some cases with OTHER launch vehicles they provide startling insights into the actual shape of the upper stage [by imprinting ‘shadows’ on the plumes]. And such spectacular events have fueled media-fanned worldwide UFO panics that show no sign of abating.

Jim Oberg [MCC OMS/RCS MPSR for STS-1&2] shares some results of his post-retirement ‘rocket science’. See the website for a longer biography (seven paragraphs) of Mr. Oberg.

  • Cost: Advance registration (below): $12 for members, $20 for non-members. Walk-ins welcome: $20 for members, $25 for non-members. BBQ meal orders (below) must be placed by noon Friday, September 30, 2016 (meals included if available for walk-ins).
  • Meal option: Red River BBQ; brisket, links, cole slaw, beans, iced tea.
    Walk-ins are welcome.
  • For more information:, 832-366-5292 (iPhone)
  • Walk-ins welcome, but advance sign-ups are appreciated.

See the event flyer (PDF) for more information.


History Technical Committee Lunch & Learn: Soyuz 2015 Launch Observations with James Oberg

Please join the AIAA Houston Section Houston Technical Committee and James Oberg on a discourse of rare dynamic events in twilight conditions in “Soyuz 2015 Launch Observations”
Tuesday, October 4, 2016
NASA JSC Gilruth Center, Lone Star Room

RSVP on the event page or on the Eventbrite page.