Photo of the Day: Final Flight

STS-135 Atlantis launches for the final shuttle mission on July 8, 2011. Image © Jason P. Odell

I’m back from my whirlwind trip to Florida’s Space Coast, where I was among those privileged to witness the final launch of the space shuttle. STS-135 lifted off around 11:29am on Friday, July 8th; the final shuttle mission ever.

Photographically speaking, we didn’t have ideal conditions. It was hazy, humid, and we were 12 miles from Pad 39A. I used my Nikon D300s with a Nikkor 600mm f/4 VR lens and TC-14E teleconverter for this shot. We had all of 40 seconds to shoot Atlantis as she rocketed into orbit before she disappeared into the low clouds over Cape Canaveral. I realize that there are better images out there from those who had VIP access, but I’m proud to have been a witness to history and get my own shot of that day.

4 thoughts on “Photo of the Day: Final Flight”

  1. Great shot, Jason! You should be proud of that shot and for the opportunity to be there to shoot this historical event. It is sad to me that there will be no more Shuttle launches. I for one would love to hear how you got this opportunity to be there to shoot the launch. Sometimes the background stories make some very interesting prose. On the other hand, some of us are just interested in hearing how things transpired for a photography to have such a wonderful opportunity. Thanks for sharing your photo of this historical occasion with us. I am very glad you did!

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