Rocket Race! SpaceX Falcon 9 vs Atlas V

It’s not everyday you get to watch two rocket launches back-to-back from 3 miles away! This week I was fortunate to set up at the Kennedy Space Center Press Site for Starlink 4-18 (via Spacex Falcon 9) the early morning of 5/18/22 and the Boeing Starliner OFT-2 (via ULA’s Atlas 5) the evening of 5/19/22. Both vehicles were approximately 3 miles away, with Starlink on Launch Complex Pad 39A and Starliner on SLC-41.

United Launch Alliance’s Atlas V generates more than two million pounds of thrust compared to Falcon 9’s 1.7 million pounds of thrust at sea level.

This is just for FUN–so not taking into account trajectory or payload…but it was amazing to see these two launches just a day (36 hours) apart. Also amazing to see how bright the solid rocket boosters for Atlas 5 really are (especially when looking through a zoom lens!). For this video I used the footage from my iPhone, which although the location might look different it was only 50 yards distance between each camera view.

At the end I show some of my close up shots, through a 600mm lens for Starlink and from my remote camera at the pad for Starliner.

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