Photo of the week: Last ever space shuttle night launch

NASA's baby space shuttle, Endeavour, bursts through the clouds during its launch from Cape Canaveral on mission STS-130, the last scheduled night launch of the shuttle.

I have chosen this image as my photo of the week because it was quite literally one of the ‘last ever opportunities’ for us to witness and photograph a night launch of the NASA space shuttle programme.

The launch of Endeavour STS -130 was delayed by 24 hours, meaning we’d end up spending three nights and 4 days without any sleep. We spent two full nights at Kennedy Space Centre on cold February evenings, anticipation building as we wondered will it / won’t it take off this time? We followed the astronauts on the big screen as they got suited and booted and took the ride to the launch pad and scaled the mighty launch towers. Commentary was provided by ex-astronauts who joined us in the cold evening air, fielding questions from the eager crowds as anticipation mounted.

28 hours after we first arrived at Kennedy Space Centre, she took to the sky. It was like nothing we’d ever experienced. Night instantly turned to day as the flames lit up the sky, creating an artificial dawn at 3:45am.  My knees literally gave way and I was grateful for my tripod as I slid to the ground in wonderment.

I was in charge of video – the husband took photos. This photo of the week is credit to him – his ability to capture a speeding rocket travelling faster than sound through heavy cloud cover. It was always going to be a hard shot to get right, but we did it, and we’re proud of it. That’s why this is my photo of the week.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.