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Space Shuttle Launch

Witnessing a space shuttle launch is a once in a lifetime experience. Many Florida residents can see the shuttle blast up into the clouds from as far away as Orlando to the west, Daytona to the north, and Stuart to the south.

Being at Kennedy Space Center for a launch is dramatically different experience.

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Shuttle Atlantis Liftoff Closeup

The Shuttle Atlantis clearing the launch pad

Taking Pictures of the Shuttle Launch

One May 11, 2009 The Shuttle Atlantis launched at 2:01 PM and the Inside Florida team was there. To capture photos, we rented a Canon 600 mm (millimeter) lens for the occasion.

Combined with a 1.4x extender and the magnification of a Canon 50D we had about 1000 mm.

Shuttle Atlantis on the Launchpad

The Shuttle Atlantis on the Launchpad May 11, 2009

There were people from all over the US and the world. We met people from North Dakota, Ohio, Georgia, Kentucky, Montana, Alabama, and of course many Floridians.

We also met a nice guy from Poland and even took his picture in from of the NASA sign for him with his camera.

The Thrill of Rocket Ships

The launch was right on time - 2:01 PM. As the shuttle Atlantis left the launch pad there was a collective gasp as everyone held their breath. For about 15 seconds the Shuttle was in the clear blue sky.

Then it went into the clouds showing only the bright flames of exhaust, which caused everyone to let out sounds of disappointment. But just seconds later the shuttle reappeared and everyone clapped and cheered.

Shuttle Atlantis Liftoff

The Shuttle Atlantis just after liftoff, May 11, 2009

Space Shuttle Atlantis

The Shuttle Atlantis about 20 seconds after launch

Everyone, from all over America and the World stood together and watched and there was a lot of pride.

There are only a few shuttle launches left as the shuttle program will be replaced by the next generation space ship dubbed Orion. Make the time and travel to Kennedy Space Center for a launch and you won’t be disappointed.

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