Saturday, July 18, 2009

Space Shuttle Endeavour Mission STS-127 Launch Photos

Like many folks, I've always been fascinated by space travel, the missions NASA undergoes, the space shuttles, and everything else surrounding them!

For years, I've wanted to view a launch in person. Last November, I got to watch the night launch of Endeavour's STS-126 mission from about 12 miles away in Titusville. It was amazing! Unfortunately, we didn't quite plan for light metering brighter than the sun... so the photos weren't so great. We had no clue what to expect!


This past week, we headed over to Kennedy Space Center to view Endeavour's STS-127 mission daytime launch. We were onsite and ready for attempt #5, which was scrubbed ... and onsite for attempt #6 - which was a success!

Thanks for Denny & Maureen, we had access to the onsite VIP launch viewing area, approx. 3 miles away from the launchpad - the closest possible viewing point.

I was running 2 Canon 5D Mark II's and a JVC HD video camera. One 5DmkII started on a tripod with the 70-200mm f2.8 L IS and a 2x converter on it, though I tore it off of the tripod moments after launch. The other 5DmkII was outfitted with a 24-70mm f2.8 L for wider shots.

The experience was amazing! The huge crowd, hundreds of cameras, the countdown.... then the smoke, fire, and roar!


I'll only be posting a fraction of the shots here. See below for a link to the full set!

STS 127 launch access placard


Above: STS-127 Launch Vehicle Access Placard


Endeavor STS-127 Launch: A crop in of the last liftoff photo


Above: Endeavor STS-127 Launch: A crop in of the last liftoff photo


More photos of the launch of Space Shuttle Endeavour Mission STS-127 after the break! Click here! http://blog.willhawkinsphotography.com/2009/07/space-shuttle-endeavour-mission-sts-127.html



Endeavor STS-127 Launch: The countdown clock with launch platform in the background


Above: Endeavor STS-127 Launch: The countdown clock with launch platform in the background


Endeavor STS-127 Launch: The calm before the storm


Above: Endeavor STS-127 Launch: The calm before the storm


Endeavor STS-127 Launch: More smoke, but the shuttle has not yet lifted up at all


Above: Endeavor STS-127 Launch: Mote smoke, but the shuttle has not yet lifted up at all


Endeavor STS-127 Launch: Rocket fire visible and the shuttle has lifted a couple feet


Above: Endeavor STS-127 Launch: Rocket fire visible and the shuttle has lifted a couple feet


Endeavor STS-127 Launch: Liftoff!


Above: Endeavor STS-127 Launch: Liftoff!


Endeavor STS-127 Launch: Liftoff!


Above: Endeavor STS-127 Launch: Liftoff!


Endeavor STS-127 Launch: Liftoff!


Above: Endeavor STS-127 Launch: Liftoff!


Endeavor STS-127 Launch: A crop in of the last liftoff photo


Above: Endeavor STS-127 Launch: A crop in of the last liftoff photo


Endeavor STS-127 Launch: A wider liftoff shot, pre-rotation


Above: Endeavor STS-127 Launch: A wider liftoff shot, pre-rotation


Endeavor STS-127 Launch: Post-liftoff rotation has begun


Above: Endeavor STS-127 Launch: Post-liftoff rotation has begun


Endeavor STS-127 Launch: Vertical liftoff shot of the space shuttle


Above: Endeavor STS-127 Launch: Vertical liftoff shot of the space shuttle


Endeavor STS-127 Launch: Exactly 1 minute after liftoff - a bit further away!


Above: Endeavor STS-127 Launch: Exactly 1 minute after liftoff - a bit further away!


Endeavor STS-127 Launch: Crop in of 1 minute after liftoff shot


Above: Endeavor STS-127 Launch: Crop in of 1 minute after liftoff shot


Endeavor STS-127 Launch: Tall shot of smoke trail, still connected to Endeavour 90 seconds after liftoff


Above: Endeavor STS-127 Launch: Tall shot of smoke trail, still connected to Endeavour 90 seconds after liftoff


Endeavor STS-127 Launch: Beginning of SRB separation burn a little more than 2 minutes after liftoff


Above: Endeavor STS-127 Launch: Beginning of SRB separation burn a little more than 2 minutes after liftoff


Endeavor STS-127 Launch: Close-up of beginning of SRB separation burn a little more than 2 minutes after liftoff


Above: Endeavor STS-127 Launch: Close-up of beginning of SRB separation burn a little more than 2 minutes after liftoff


Endeavor STS-127 Launch: Approx 4 seconds after SRB separation


Above: Endeavor STS-127 Launch: Approx 4 seconds after SRB separation


Endeavor STS-127 Launch: Approx 6 seconds after SRB separation


Above: Endeavor STS-127 Launch: Approx 6 seconds after SRB separation


Endeavor STS-127 Launch: Endeavour's smoke trail


Above: Endeavor STS-127 Launch: Endeavour's smoke trail




We were amazing at how clear the launch was, even through SRB separation +2 minutes after launch!

If you ever have a chance to watch a launch from up close... Go for it! With a only a handful of shuttle launches left, the opportunity to watch this spectacular event will soon be gone.

For the full set of photos, click me!

Cheers,
Will

3 comments:

Zekeshem said...

So cool!! Great shots! Love the first vertical one of the smoke trail, awesome. Looks like so much fun, one day maybe I will make it over!

Erin Harvey said...

Dude, that is awesome! I tried to see it from my house but I guess we're too far. =(

Aubry Canales Photography said...

These are WAY COOL! Love the smoke trail shots......