Space shuttle Atlantis heads for orbit during the final launch of the space shuttle program. The wideangle lens used in this 360° panorama makes the press site at Kennedy Space Center seem oddly empty, a huge number of people were on hand to witness the final launch of the 30-year program. Click image to view […]
Space shuttle Atlantis clears the tower on the final launch of the space shuttle program, STS-135. Once clear of the tower, control is transferred from the Kennedy Space Centre to Mission Control in Houston for the duration of the flight.
Condensation clouds form around the nose of Atlantis’ solid rocket boosters as the space shuttle makes the transition to supersonic speed. The effect can be seen below, in a frame taken from one of NASA’s HD video cameras mounted to the External Tank:
Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield gives an interview at the press site of the Kennedy Space Centre. Hadfield flew on two shuttle missions, STS-74 (Atlantis) and STS-100 (Endeavour).
A remote camera set up on a dry lake bed captures space shuttle Atlantis clearing the tower during launch of STS-135. Heavy rains preceding launch day dramatically changed the nature of this photograph, turning the foreground from a brilliant landscape of caked and broken earth to something approaching a mudbowl.
A gentleman conducts important business on his phone as Atlantis reaches for the clouds, mere seconds after the final launch of the space shuttle program.
Photographers form a solid wall at the Kennedy Space Centre’s press site, in preparation for the final launch of the entire space shuttle program.
Long-time NASA employees display a quilt of every single space shuttle mission patch, dating back to the first launch in 1981 of STS-1.
Photographers give scale to the enormity of the manned US space program, setting up their cameras at the foot of the launch pad in preparation for the final launch of the 30-year space shuttle program.
Space shuttle Atlantis clears the tower for the final time, signalling the end of the space shuttle program.
Riding 30 stories of fire, twin solid rocket boosters propel space shuttle Endeavour toward low earth orbit on the final launch of her career, and the penultimate launch of the entire 30-year long space shuttle Program.
Space shuttle Endeavour, STS-134, clears the tower on the final launch of her career as seen from the Banana Creek viewing site.
The Endeavour boys (from left to right Mark Kelly, commander; Greg Chamitoff, Andrew Feustel, European Space Agency’s Roberto Vittori, Michael Fincke, and Gregory H. Johnson, pilot) ham it up for the cameras upon their arrival at the Kennedy Space Centre for the second launch attempt of space shuttle Endeavour, STS-134.
Wreathed in her own launch plume, space shuttle Endeavour lifts off on the final launch of her career, hauling the US $2 billion Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer to the International Space Station. After landing, she’ll be processed and turned over to the California Science Center for permanent display.
A family of ospreys stand watch in their nest, framed by the NASA ‘meatball’ logo on the side of the Vehicle Assembly Building.
Endeavour’s flag flies proudly over Launch Complex 39A. This is actually a fairly difficult shot to get, 95% of the time the wind blows the flag backwards.
Space shuttle Endeavour, shortly after rollback of the Rotating Service Structure, sits bathed in Xenon lights for the final time.
Space shuttle Endeavour disappears into the clouds 22 seconds after liftoff, seen across the water from the Banana Creek viewing site.
A sign on the roadway leading to NASA’s Vehicle Assembly Building proclaims the day of launch for space shuttle Endeavour, STS-134.
A camera modified to photograph the near-infrared wavelength of light captures the final launch of space shuttle Endeavour, STS-134, as seen from the Dike Road.
Secured in the Orbiter Processing Facility after her successful STS-133 mission, space shuttle Discovery is prepared for decomissioning and display at the Smithsonian Institution. Underneath Discovery and looking forward from roughly amidships, the orbiter’s Thermal Protection System tiles stretch forward toward the nose landing gear.
Space shuttle Discovery soars into the Florida skies, as seen in this 180° panorama taken from Astronaut Road. The massive Vehicle Assembly Building can be seen on the right, and Launch Complex 39B on the left. Click image to view larger.
The Rotating Service Structure is rolled back from space shuttle Discovery for the final time, revealing the veteran orbiter over the course of 45 minutes for launch the next day.
[Audio clip: view full post to listen] Space shuttle Discovery, STS-133, roars into orbit, the crackling thunder of her twin Solid Rocket Boosters threatening to overwhelm the microphone.