Monday, March 14, 2011

Discovery Landing

What a week I had!  I'm just now recovering from the lack of sleep, and the rollercoaster of activity.  This blog entry will deal with the first part of the adventure.  I went from an all-day job in Chicago, straight to the airport to head down to Florida to photograph the final landing of the Space Shuttle Discovery.

With the double sonic booms that always signal the arrival of the shuttle re-entering the atmosphere, I began craning my head around looking for the tiny white dot in the sky.  I saw a few people pointing, and saw it moving fast, way above the clouds.   I had the Canon 100-400mm zoom with me, and a steady hand:
The shuttle comes in like a gliding rock; much faster and steeper than a normal jumbo jet.

I was locked in and ready to photograph the landing.  Unfortunately I didn't realize that there was a group of VIPs that had access to a location right in front of me.  They moved in before the landing, and I didn't have a chance to move to a better location.  Luckily I got a few photos in between the heads.

After a few hours, the ground crews are ready to roll the orbiter back to the processing facility.   She slowly marched past us, attended by a long parade of support trucks and machines. 

It was a bit sad watching the Discovery head home for the very last time. 
And here's me!  We made a quick video after the shuttle rolled off into the distance. And yes, I do always hate the frame that is grabbed and used as the icon on these things.  I'm never making a nice face. 

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