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Today was extremely particular to me and for a good reason. Just a day before I went for an umpteenth time to Melbourne in Florida for professional reasons and at the end of the day decided to "explore" a bit the region and to go to Playalinda Beach : Entering the holy place. Arrrrg. I could read at this time than the beach only was accessible by paying for a pass. $1 as a pedestrian/cyclist or $10 with a car... having only 5 on me I decided to park the car and kept on walking... Only to discover there was no service today! Ha haaaa, on the road agaaaiiiiinnnnnn!!!... at a max of 35 mph, but on the road again. I quickly found one of the "official" parking reserved to the swimmers, surfers... and launches addicted peoples. One panoramic view of the parking lot and the launch complex 39A and B plus the V.A.B... And one of the beach itself. A beautiful one which remembered me those of the Caribbean islands. A closer view of my stagecoach. Yep, a simple 210 hp Optima but which never betrayed me since I'm with her. Then it already was the time to leave as the beach was closing at 20.00... at least that's what I thought. I was supposed to drive back to Tampa after an appointment around 14.00 today but it was advanced to 10.00 this morning and ended just before 11.00. I looked once again to the expected launch departure time of the Dragon CRS-12 flight... mmmh one hour of driving if I'm respecting the speed... mmmh nearly nobody is respecting the speed... mmmh I never seen a real launch by myself... mmmh I'm dreaming of it for years and years.... mmmh... LET'S GO!!! Back to the beach! With one fan proudly waiting for the launch. The first parking lot was totally full and three later I found the sole place remaining in! And fifteen minutes later... Falcon 9 1.2 was lifting off with Dragon! WOOOHOOOOoooo. Such a wonderful melody! Like a 30/45 second long thunder! I waited about two minutes and after seeing that the first stage was shut down decided to leave as a lot of peoples were doing the same (and I really have to be at Tampa four hours later). But just when I was on the way back I'd seen a lot of fans looking for the stage at the North-East, where the launcher was before burning back. And, suddenly, I've seen it descending back through the clouds at an impressive speed and lightning its engine once again to brake. Simply impressive! If there is only one thing I regret, it's to have forgotten my camera in Clearwater, the pictures taken with my phone got terrible quality at the best. But this is a day I will never forget for sure!
What happened to the logos on the Atlas V launch tower? When Atlas V was still managed by Lockheed Martin, the Lockheed Martin logo was painted onto the side of the Atlas launch tower. When ULA took over AV operations, they painted "Atlas" onto the launch tower, along with a bunch of other logos, like this: Sometime in 2013, the logos disappeared from the launch tower. According to my records, the last Atlas V launch which used the tower with the logos was GPS IIF-4. Pictures from the MUOS-2 launch, which followed the GPS IIF-4 launch, showed the tower missing its logos. There are faint smudges in the places where the logos used to be. Currently, the launch tower looks like this: Does anyone know what happened to the logos and if it was deliberate, why did ULA decide to do that?