Discovery Launch at Paynes Prairie

by admin on March 16, 2009

This evening, Pablo, MMD and I camped out at the end of William Bartram Trail at Paynes Prairie waiting for Discovery to launch. (I shot this location in ‘07. Upon looking back, those photos blow out the latest web design. Argh.)

I provide the above link and info to assist potential Google searchers. We were about 141 miles away from Cape Canaveral.

Here’s a shot close to sunset with the 70-300mm Sigma at the end of the boardwalk facing southwest.

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Here is Sweet Sweet Pablo. (Changed the lens.)

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And this is Sweet Sweet MMD.

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Back to the Sigma. I’m at the end of the boardwalk looking toward the street. You can get an idea of how far that might be here. They have no idea I’m spying on them!

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MMD took this photo of a giant sun setting over the other end of the prairie. He’s a better photographer than I am.

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I expected at least 90 seconds after the actual launch before we could see the shuttle from our location, but I was wrong. I didn’t even have time to focus. At this point, my brain was firing SHUTTLESHUTTLEHOLYFUCKTHESHUTTLE and I lost all sense of the mechanics of the camera.

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A closer view.

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Getting higher.

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Here’s a shot from MMD’s camera a second later.

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I waded through 227 photos when I got home and I was stunned to see the solid rocket boosters disengage.

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The shuttle is flying away so fast that barely a second later all you can see of the rocket boosters is that one tiny bright lump below the large bright lump.

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A little bit farther now.

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One shuttle, two boosters and (not pictured) three happy campers.

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{ 2 comments }

Jenn 03.16.09 at 6:48 pm

Great photos! I saw it from Archer road. Next time I’ll be at Paynes Prairie for sure

gracie 03.16.09 at 9:42 pm

Thanks! I see you tried to get to Titusville for Endeavor. The traffic is daunting, but I might head south for Atlantis in May.

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