Monday, March 16, 2009

Space Shuttle Discovery from another angle

In last night's post, I used a NASA TV photo showing Discovery lifting off just after sunset. But the good thing about shuttle launches is that you don't have to be at the launch facility to get great pictures. Friend Wayne took these beautiful photos from his driveway and gave me permission to share them with you, along with his descriptions. This first photo shows the shuttle rising into the dusky sky.

Vapor trail, nearly red, white, and blue. Lowest part is in darkness, middle part is in setting sun, upper part in full sun.

Close-up of sunset part of vapor trail

Solid rocket boosters falling away like tossed cigarettes (FYI - according to Wikipedia, each solid rocket booster is 149 feet long and 13 feet in diameter. At launch, each weighs 1,300,000 pounds. They are recovered and reused.)

There was some concern today over some space debris, but no avoidance maneuvers were required, and docking with the International Space Stations is set for 5:13 p.m. tomorrow (Tuesday).

Our thanks to NASA and its contractors for a perfect mission thus far and to Wayne for sharing his photos and his interpretations!

4 comments:

caroline said...

Having watched every Mercury, Gemini and Apollo launch on TV as a kid in northern NY, I would love to see one live sometime. What cool photos!
Caroline in the Black Hills

Florida Beach Basics said...

Hey, Caroline - good to hear from you again. Here's a schedule of remaining launches (through 2010). Come on down. http://www.nasa.gov/missions/highlights/schedule.html

marge

CHEF TROLL said...

Thanks for the pics and the schedule. I've been lucky enough to get close enough to FEEL the launches a few times. The last one was clearly visible 100 miles away in Troll County.

Florida Beach Basics said...

Chef Troll - launch is such a magnificent event, isn't it? Be on the lookout tonight for an Atlas launch carrying a mil-com satellite - 9:24 p.m. Florida Today newspaper covers launches well, including video. if it's too cloudy to watch from Troll County - http://www.floridatoday.com/content/blogs/space/2009/03/live-at-cape-atlas-countdown-is-under.shtml