Saturday, June 09, 2007


As promised, here are some pictures from yesterday's trip to the launch of the space shuttle Atlantis. We were on a causeway leading over to Merritt Island, which means we were a long way from the launch pad. So far that you couldn't actually see much of anything. The entire time prior to the launch, I was convinced the shuttle was on the pad shown above. So most of my pictures prior to the actual launch are focused on that pad. I didn't realize my mistake until seconds after launch, when I couldn't see anything through the lens. Turns out the shuttle was on the pad shown below. Look close, and you can see a little bit of the brown external fuel tank through the gantry. Live and learn, I guess.

I recovered pretty quickly, and caught the shuttle right after it had cleared most of the superstructure. Most of the white smoke you see is actually steam, from water dumped under the shuttle as the solid rocket boosters are firing. You can see the water tower to the left. Compare the view of the shuttle above to the one below, and you can pretty clearly see how it's rotating as it heads for space.

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