Winner, above: 2008 Aviation Week & Space Technology Photo Contest
Category: Space

Delta 4-Heavy fires up the night on second flight
11/10/07 ~ 8:50pm

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In one of the most spectacular unmanned launches of recent years, the massive 24-story Delta 4-Heavy rocket - two-thirds the height of the Saturn V and about the same size and power of the Saturn 1B of the Apollo days - fires to life, quite literally speaking, on its second flight and first at night. Nearly three years after its first ended with a dummy satellite nearly 10,000 miles short of its target orbit, this time the 23rd and last Defense Support Program (DSP-23) missile-warning satellite was deployed flawlessly over six hours later.

Tower roll and remote camera setup       Astronomy Picture of the Day (December 2010)

<--- GOES-N                                      Delta 4-Heavy NRO L-26 --->
The massive fireball is created by igniting hydrogen:
From a special photographer viewing area just three miles from the pad: