Melbourne Beach, Florida

Outdoor Resorts of America

Part D - On the Beach 2

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Walking the beach every day, at this time of year, gives you the opertunity to see the birds with little interference from others. Here are just some of the many Ibis pictures I took.

The Ibis spend their time walking in and out following the surf and looking for sand crabs. They do get worried when people get on each side of them.

High winds the day before caused the surf to deposit many shells on this part of the beach.

These guys are more interested in finding a meal
and are not worried about me.

Hey, I got my lunch!
Actually, they seem to eat continuously.

They decided to show me a line dance!

The last Titan IV launch from Cape Kennedy.
We got the chance to watch the launch of this Lockheed Martin missile. It was a cloudless night and could see almost every phase of the mission. They put a classified satellite into orbit.
The main stage of this missile is identical to the Gemini Titan which I worked on in Baltimore, except it has inertial guidance instead of GE Radio Guidance and a stronger second stage.
We could see the solid boosters separate and fall back to the ocean. Then separation of the second stage from the main stage. We could see the burn of the second stage until it was the size of a small star. That was about the time it went into orbit. (the daily paper said it went into orbit approximately 10 minutes after launch.)
It sure brought back memories.
Unfortunately, since it was the last of the Titan program at Cape Kennedy 300 people are being laid off.
This summer will end the Titan program at Vandenburg in California with the last Titan launch. (and more people will be laid off.) The Titan IV is the last of our big missles. Both the Saturn and Titan missles are no longer being produced and their assembly lines have been scrapped.
Because there is a clear launch zone south of Vandenburg, the launches at Vandenburg are used to put satellites into polar orbits. Launching south from Cape Kennedy would cause missiles to go over Miami and the Caribbean Islands.
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