Shuttle Launch

My inner geek has failed me. Had I paid attention, two weeks ago I could have started the process to get a security clearance from NASA to go up and photograph the Shuttle launch up close. But as it was, I was walking out of the Convention Center in Ft. Lauderdale from the Microscopy meeting and heard someone say something about the Shuttle. I suddenly realized that there may be a Shuttle launch and I ran inside to get online. Sure enough, in about four hours at 6:38pm, the Space Shuttle Endeavor was going into space.

I silently screamed to myself and started making calls to see if I could pull some strings and get an expedited security clearance, but within the two week window it did not matter who I was, or what credentials I may have had short of being the President of the United States of America, a job I most decidedly don’t want. So, I had to quickly look at a map and see where I could have gone to at least watch my first ever Shuttle launch. Picking a spot directly across the water from launchpad 39A, I raced up the Florida coast to find a place as close to that location as possible. Finding the perfect spot, I set up my camera with the 70-200 f/2.8 IS USM and 2X extender and waited in the hot, unfortunately miserably hazy Florida afternoon and waiting for the launch sequence to begin. Because of the haze, I was having a problem finding Launchpad 39A from that distance and worried that all photography would be a bust, but as soon as the ignition sequence started, it was easy to spot and I knew there would be at least one decent photo as a remembrance. The launch was much brighter than I anticipated and a second or two went by before I remembered to click the shutter release on the camera. I was enthralled and wished that H could have been there to see and experience the sight of the Shuttle rising on a pillar of fire with a low rumbling, crackling thunder filling the air.

2 Replies to “Shuttle Launch”

  1. Hi, Jones, was wondering from were this photos of the shuttle were taking. great spot! how far you were?



  2. Hey Manuel,

    It was just a little road opposite of the Cape in a residential neighborhood. Not too many people were around either which surprised me.

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