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PostPosted: Tue Jul 12, 2011 5:03 am 
After several delays due to climate, the Space Ship Atlantis launched Friday morning. It's going to be the final journey in the space shuttle program. The instant was an emotional one for many associated with the program, but concluding this chapter will open new ones in NASA's exploration of the cosmos. The proof is here: Space Shuttle Atlantis lifts off on its final mission.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 12, 2011 9:38 am 
I was in KSC with my parents back when I was a kid, this report sure has brought back some nice memories from that amazing day in my life. Amazing job, Gordon!

I feel kind of sad though, I just can't beleive the Space Shuttle Program is no more, they've been around since forever as far as I'm concerned, I grew up watching the space shuttles come and go on amazing missions so it's kind of hard for me to accept the fact that once the Atlantis lands after completing this last mission, I won't be seeing them again.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 15, 2011 6:09 am 
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zxE3KBRorZI
Booster footage,..32 min... :shock:

lots and lots of angles there G for use in more tribute vids....
Be nice if they update it with more HD stuff though.... :roll:

FYI,..the NASA file is a bit better bitrate though...
http://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/videogallery/index.html?media_id=101291581


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 16, 2011 6:01 am 
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Thanks! I'm waiting for all the cool HD footage to come out before I even try and put something together...!


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 21, 2011 11:50 am 
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As the Atlantis crew shut down the APUs for the last time it felt as though the beating heart of the Shuttle program had finally stopped. I applied to join the NASA astronaut program 35 years ago and, obviously, that didn't work out for me but having been weaned on Mercury, Gemini and Apollo and watched the successes and tragedies of the Shuttle over the last 30 years I'd like to impose on Gordon's hospitality here by voicing my own appreciation of everything the good folks at NASA have accomplished.

It was a bitter/sweet experience this morning watching Atlantis land for the last time and rather like at a funeral, when one tries very hard to remember all the positives, there's still a huge sense of loss. The story will go on, however, even though one of the major characters has left the stage.

Image of the day, so far as I'm concerned, is this shot from the ISS showing the Shuttle's plasma trail as Atlantis dropped down into the atmosphere:
Bob.

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 22, 2011 11:53 am 
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Just came across the same photo. That's a real rollercoaster ride!
Had not expected coming back to Earth so drastic as in this photo but way smoother in a more humane angle. This looks more like falling down to Earth. What a thrill ride.

But, please, why do we see such a long trail on the photo? Did it all happen so fast or was the exposure time so long --- but shouldn't the clouds be more blurred then ...?

This is a very cool photo ... I learned something completely new today.

regards,
HTG


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 22, 2011 12:27 pm 
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Hi HTG,

All I can do is try to guess. It's very hard to get a sense of scale from the photo but I do know that the Shuttle's ground track brought it up just to the east of the Yucatan peninsula and just to the west of Cuba. Is that Cuba in the distance? If so and one assumes the Shuttle is still a long way short then maybe we are only seeing a plasma trail as little as 50 to 100 miles long. Remember that the geometry was such that the ISS was following the Shuttle almost exactly this time and it actually passed over Canaveral a few minutes before touchdown. How fast the Shuttle was travelling as the photo was taken is subject to another guess but on the assumption that it was still not too far off orbital speed (about 17,500 mph) then the Shuttle travels 100 miles in about 30 seconds and, yet another guess, I think the plasma trail may well continue to be visible for that long to the camera. No EXIF data on the photo but a number of stars were visible and the clouds haven't suffered much motion blur so I'd guess the shutter speed was reasonably short and the ISO was cranked pretty high.

Goodness, I've lost count of how many guesses and assumptions I've just used but I think there's enough meat there to explain the shot even if the Shuttle was going rather slower than I've assumed.

Bob.

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 22, 2011 5:37 pm 
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I think the plasma trail may well continue to be visible for that long to the camera [in space]



Really good idea, I think. That might be very well be the explanation. My thinking was too earth-bound still to come to that thought. :-)

If we are going with this explanation then Atlantis was already at the lower end of this bow at the time of taking the photo and had not performed the whole dive down to Earth within the exposure time. And the plasma/exhaust trail is just standing still in space.

Thank you, Bob.

It sounds right.

regards,
HTG


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 22, 2011 5:44 pm 
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If it was a long exposure, I'd expect the trail to be either the same intensity or declining as you go further away. We can clearly see it get brighter as it gets further away, so I think that would tie up with a residual decay effect.

The nearby clouds in the shot do appear somewhat motion blurred though, so there's a combination of motion and shutter speed going on there but not enough for me to guess at.

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 23, 2011 8:40 am 
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Hi folks,

For those of you based in the UK there's a one and a half hour documentary tonight (Saturday) on Channel 4 (and Channel 4 HD, of course) entitled "The Space Shuttle's Last Flight". It will look back over the history of the Shuttle as well and that inevitably means we'll have to suffer replays of the Challenger and Columbia accidents but it should be worth watching.

Bob.

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Leica D Vario-Elmar 14mm-150mm f/3.5 - f/5.6 ASPH.
OM-D E-M5, H-PS14042E, Gitzo GT1541T, Arca-Swiss Z1 DP ball-head.
Astrophotography: TEC 140 'scope, FLI ML16803 camera, ASA DDM60 Pro mount.


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2011 9:52 am 
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a space shuttle 360 image of cockpit. Don`t forget to look up.
needs more buttons and switches :P

about a 4mb file.

http://360vr.com/2011/06/22-discovery-f ... index.html

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 15, 2011 8:02 am 
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Hi everyone, I just added a new wide-angle video of the launch, filmed from the NASA Causeway from atop my 7D / 500mm combo!

It's the last video on this page:

http://www.cameralabs.com/features/STS- ... otography/

My next task now I'm back is to edit together all my footage from the trip and make another short film! I'll let you know when it's done (probably in about a month!)


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