NASA's LADEE moon mission streaks into space

Observers from North Carolina to New Hampshire captured spectacular views of Friday night's launch of a Minotaur 5 rocket from Wallops Island, Va.

The 80-foot-tall rocket launched at 11:27 p.m. EDT Friday (0327 GMT Saturday from NASA's Wallops Flight Facility on Virginia's Eastern Shore. The five-stage launcher delivered the LADEE moon orbiter to space about 23 minutes later.

We present a few of our favorite photos of the launch captured from afar.

See our Mission Status Center for the latest news on the launch.

Photographer Ben Cooper recorded this incredible view of Friday night's Minotaur 5 launch from the top of Rockefeller Center in New York City, showing the launcher's first and second stage burns. See a larger image. Credit: Ben Cooper/

Spaceflight Now's Stephen Clark viewed the launch from the press site about 2 miles from the pad. This image shows media photographers and NASA Social participants witnessing LADEE's blastoff. See a larger image. Credit: Stephen Clark/Spaceflight Now

This stunning image looking over Chesapeake Bay was submitted from a vista at Point Lookout State Park, Md. See a larger image. Credit: Andrew Albosta

The Minotaur 5 rocket appears to the set the sky aflame in this photo snapped at Assateague Island, Md. Credit: Buddy Secor

Orbital Sciences Corp. shared this image of the Minotaur 5's ascent from Washington, D.C. See a larger image. Credit: Abraham Ng/Orbital Sciences Corp.

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