Rocket Contrails and Spent Fuel
I took this rocket breakup shot early this morning at dawn from downtown Phoenix near the corner of University and I-10. The weird colors in the sky are from spewed rocket fuel reflecting sunlight.
A 40-foot tall Juno Tactical Ballistic Missile was launched from Fort Wingate, an Army depot south of Interstate 40 and a few miles east of Gallup NM, and directed toward the White Sands Missile Range in southern New Mexico. The booster rocket separated over Cibola National Forest. At White Sands, a Patriot Missile was launched to intercept it the resulting rocket breakup and spewed fuel made for an crazy early morning sky!
Dan O'Boyle, spokesman for the Army's Aviation and Missile Comman at Redstone Arsenal, Ala., said the test was successful. Officials were testing the PAC-3 system, or Patriot Advanced Capability, the latest modification to the missile system.