Shuttle Reflections

I had Shuttles on the brain today. It was 30 years ago that the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster happened, and I still remember every detail of that day. I was a student at Cocoa Beach High School, where we all had some connection to NASA. Almost everyone had a family member that either worked at the Space Center, or for a company that was connected to it in a roundabout way. Space Shuttle STS 133 Discovery And today I had lunch with my friend Cathy- she was the coordinator for the Space Shuttle project I worked on for several years. It brought back a bunch of great memories from the adventures we had. STS134-Endeavour_sm I also thought about the thousands and thousands of photos I took during that project. I decided to take a look through my archives and pull out a few that I don’t think I’ve ever shown anyone. Only a handful of photographers get a spot on the roof at the Vehicle Assembly Building. I’m the second person from the left in the image below. Fortuntely I got to photograph two of the shuttle launches from this unique location. STS133-rooftop After a launch, we had to wait around in the NASA Press Room for the clearance to go collect our remote cameras from around the launchpad. Below is what it looks like hours after liftoff. The only lights out there come from the pad and the Rotating Service Structure. Otherwise, it’s endless miles of pitch black swamps and sand. It’s quite majestic lit up in the dark like that. Launchpad_sm1 And I’m not sure why I never shared this particular photo. It’s an early morning image from April 17th, 2012. The Space Shuttle Discovery is leaving Cape Canaveral for the very last time. I know that looks like water in the background. But it was actually morning fog in the marshland around the Cape. Space Shuttle Discovery I haven’t sat down and gone through any Shuttle photographs in a long time. It was fun looking at some of the behind-the-scenes shots I have. I’ll have to share some of those the next time I get nostalgic.