At 11:27 p.m. on September 6, NASA launched the LADEE mission to the moon from the Wallops launch facility in Virginia, about 100 air miles from Cape May.
These photos were taken with hand-held camera from Alexander Beach on Cape May Point, They do not do justice to the effects of the launch. Right on time, at 11:27, the orange ball from the first stage rocket appeared suddenly and quietly on the southwest.horizon (top photo). It climbed steadily, then faded, followed immediately by a new bright, whiter light as the second stage ignited (second picture above). The trajectory of the rocket took it nearly over our heads before it too faded and a third bright spot (stage three) followed, then quickly faded into the dark. Cape May Point was an ideal spot to witness the nighttime launch, with minimal ambient light and no obstructions on the horizon.