space shuttles

space shuttles

Space Shuttle Discovery launch STS-131 4/5/10 from the causeway

5h ago
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Space Shuttle Discovery launch STS-131 on April 5, 2010 on a mission to the International Space Station. Photos that I took are located at the very beginning of the video and at around 7:12. We saw the space station fly overhead about 10 minutes before launch. The Space Shuttle was going to chase and catch up with the ISS. The video and photos were taken at the causeway that's 6.5 miles away which was the closest any mere mortal like me can watch the shuttle launch. If you're a VIP or journalist you get to watch it about 3.5 miles away. The shaky video, taken with a Canon SD950 at about 120mm - 140mm focal length (certainly not a pro video camera), was caused by the camera being atop an 800mm lens when I was trying to find the shuttle through the viewfinder. The first picture you see of the shuttle and the pictures at the end were from the 800mm lens, uncropped and not post processed. Basically the blinding light was what we saw in real life, so seeing the shuttle was pretty hard to see. At around 30 seconds after takeoff you'll hear the shuttle engines as the sound finally arrives at our location. Yes, it was loud and yes, it was cool. As you watch the video at about 5 minutes or so time you'll see a really cool phenomenon I've never seen before in any of the launches I watched on television. It looks like waves coming off the ship as it hit the upper atmosphere. The three remaining space shuttle flights will take place during the day so this is the last night/morning launch that we'll ever see. I hope you enjoy the video and photos