SNATH
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Shuttle Shots: Thank You Suresh!

Thu Mar 22, 2012 8:07 pm

Hi all,

I wanted to give a tip of the hat to Suresh for all the amazing Shuttle shots he's uploaded recently:


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Photo © Suresh A. Atapattu
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Photo © Suresh A. Atapattu


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Photo © Suresh A. Atapattu
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Photo © Suresh A. Atapattu


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Photo © Suresh A. Atapattu
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Photo © Suresh A. Atapattu


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Photo © Suresh A. Atapattu
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Photo © Suresh A. Atapattu


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Photo © Suresh A. Atapattu
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Photo © Suresh A. Atapattu



They are not only fascinating to look at but also of historical significance given that retirement of the Shuttle fleet. It's actually a shame that some of them have not been viewed more times than they have.


Thank you Suresh!   

Tony

[Edited 2012-03-22 13:19:35]
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vikkyvik
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RE: Shuttle Shots: Thank You Suresh!

Thu Mar 22, 2012 8:27 pm

Quoting SNATH (Thread starter):
I wanted to give a tip of the hat to Suresh for all the amazing Shuttle shots he's uploaded recently:

Absolutely! Fantastic and very interesting shots, providing a look at parts of the shuttle you certainly don't see every day.

Though my favorite recently-uploaded shuttle shot comes from Ben Cooper:


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Photo © Ben Cooper



This one as well, from last year:


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Photo © Ben Cooper

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launchphoto
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RE: Shuttle Shots: Thank You Suresh!

Thu Mar 22, 2012 9:01 pm

Thanks guys. Suresh does a great job and we both tend to get the best spots I think. Suresh and I were among just a couple of people getting aerials of the "two-shuttle" ballet the other week.
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RE: Shuttle Shots: Thank You Suresh!

Thu Mar 22, 2012 9:08 pm

I agree, excellent images by both of you. I still can't believe there will be no more shuttle flights.
 
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RE: Shuttle Shots: Thank You Suresh!

Thu Mar 22, 2012 9:34 pm

Quoting SNATH (Thread starter):
I wanted to give a tip of the hat to Suresh for all the amazing Shuttle shots he's uploaded recently

Thank you Tony. I appreciate the kind words and support. My shuttle photography has become almost a crusade to document and save as much visual data before it is all gone.NASA has been great in this regard and so has the staff at various levels that have given me the freedom to do it. I have made some friends for life. It is a bittersweet experience and I appreciate the support.

I am not sure what to do when the three orbiters are all at their final resting places. Ben has been trying to get me to shoot rockets.

Quoting vikkyvik (Reply 1):
Though my favorite recently-uploaded shuttle shot comes from Ben Cooper:

Indeed that is a fantastic shot! Ben makes things looks easy! That is very difficult shot and Ben nailed it!

Quoting LaunchPhoto (Reply 2):
Suresh and I were among just a couple of people getting aerials of the "two-shuttle" ballet the other week.

It has been a nice ride Ben! I hope the next era will be atleast half as exciting as the last 10 years!

Suresh
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RE: Shuttle Shots: Thank You Suresh!

Thu Mar 22, 2012 9:59 pm

I've been trying to go through my archives and find more shots to upload and share, but I run into the doubles issue. I personally wish it would be okay with the screeners if, as in most of these remote image situations, the cameras are a couple of miles apart on opposite sides of the launch pad, for example. It's been accepted a few times but other times I get the rejection. But I would love to share more from some of these missions, as would Suresh I am sure!
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RE: Shuttle Shots: Thank You Suresh!

Thu Mar 22, 2012 10:11 pm

It makes me sick to my stomach that I was never able to witness a shuttle launch in person. I wanted to so badly but living on the west coast made it very difficult to plan a trip out there because of the liklihood of launches being delayed or cancelled, especially at the end.

Thanks to both of you for sharing your amazing photos. Sometimes viewng them is like rubbing salt in the wound, but they are so freaking amazing that I'm glad we had you guys there to document the life and final days of the Shuttle fleet.
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RE: Shuttle Shots: Thank You Suresh!

Thu Mar 22, 2012 11:14 pm

Quoting Silver1SWA (Reply 6):
It makes me sick to my stomach that I was never able to witness a shuttle launch in person. I wanted to so badly but living on the west coast made it very difficult to plan a trip out there because of the liklihood of launches being delayed or cancelled, especially at the end.

Same here. At least since I've been living in greater LA for the last few years, I got to hear sonic booms from two shuttle landings. And we get the occasional visible launch from Vandenberg. But nothing would compare to a shuttle launch (at least, I imagine as much).

I strongly debated flying out for a shuttle launch in 2010 or 2011....I have a cousin who lives in Melbourne. But as you said, the launch uncertainty made it difficult.
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SNATH
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RE: Shuttle Shots: Thank You Suresh!

Thu Mar 22, 2012 11:39 pm

Hi all,

Quoting vikkyvik (Reply 1):
Though my favorite recently-uploaded shuttle shot comes from Ben Cooper:

Apologies if my post came through wrongly. I didn't mean to take anything away from Ben (one of my very fav photogs here; he's been on my RU list for a while and his shots get my PC vote very frequently). I just wanted to recognize Shuresh's latest work.

Quoting megatop412 (Reply 3):
My shuttle photography has become almost a crusade to document and save as much visual data before it is all gone.

And your efforts are very much appreciated!

Quoting eksath (Reply 4):
Ben has been trying to get me to shoot rockets.

Hey, Ben, if Suresh is not interested, please knock on my door.  

Tony
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RE: Shuttle Shots: Thank You Suresh!

Thu Mar 22, 2012 11:45 pm

Quoting vikkyvik (Reply 7):
Same here. At least since I've been living in greater LA for the last few years, I got to hear sonic booms from two shuttle landings. And we get the occasional visible launch from Vandenberg. But nothing would compare to a shuttle launch (at least, I imagine as much).

There is a launch from Vandenberg slated for next Thursday, March 29, in the afternoon (Delta IV). You can get to seven miles away, at Surf Beach, for this one. The Cape is better for visibility/photos and for getting very close to some launches even as public, but you should definitely see some there too. Especially at night.

[Edited 2012-03-22 16:51:45]
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RE: Shuttle Shots: Thank You Suresh!

Thu Mar 22, 2012 11:46 pm

Quoting SNATH (Reply 8):
Apologies if my post came through wrongly.

Not at all, and I applaud your applauding Suresh's work. Just thought I'd share some great shuttle photos from another photographer as well. Sorry if I took the thread a bit off-track!

EDITED to respond to Ben:

There is a launch from Vandenberg slated for next Thursday, March 29, in the afternoon (Delta IV). You can get to seven miles away, at Surf Beach, for this one. The Cape is better for visibility and photos and for getting close to some launches, but you should definitely see some there too. Especially at night.

Unfortunately I'll be at work, but the last launch I saw was a Delta IV Heavy from Vandenberg in the middle of the day. I took a long lunch and went down to the beach. It's not exactly dramatic from 130 miles away, but still cool:

https://picasaweb.google.com/vikkyviks/Delta4Launch12011?authuser=0&authkey=Gv1sRgCKWGycClzs3fHg&feat=directlink

One day I will have to try driving up closer for a launch. Thanks for the info!

[Edited 2012-03-22 16:54:08]
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RE: Shuttle Shots: Thank You Suresh!

Fri Mar 23, 2012 9:40 pm

Quoting Silver1SWA (Reply 6):
It makes me sick to my stomach that I was never able to witness a shuttle launch in person. I wanted to so badly but living on the west coast made it very difficult to plan a trip out there because of the liklihood of launches being delayed or cancelled, especially at the end.

Thanks but i don't want to rub it in but the stuff you see of mine and Ben's here on the website is only about 1% of a typical day of shooting. Some of the material is not the stuff for this website hence would not be uploaded but others are. As Ben mentioned the doubles rule severely impacts shuttle/rocket ops. For example, a shuttle rollout is a 6hour + process and involves about 3.2 miles. Ben and I would normally be tailing the stack or driving in front of it and letting it catchup. We play that game a number of times until she is hard down on the pad. Typically it starts at 12:01 am and runs from there but we cannot upload much besides one and maybe two (i.e. two different sides). Now if we are lucky, it might start at 8:00pm and go through to the next day, then it is a two day operation hence the one shot,one side,one day can be lead to twice the shots.  

This goes on and on. The SLF is its own runway hence KTTS but it sits inside the Kennedy Space Center. So when the orbiter crosses out of the boundary does that become two shots or a double violation? As Ben mentions in his post above me, this leads to a big mental mind game of trying to figure out if the shot can be uploaded and what rules it may violate. Sometimes it feels like the launch commit rule violation checklist for the shuttle.

There is also a lot of moments over the last 10 years, that i have just not taken the picture but enjoyed the moment. It has been a great ride and that is the census i hear from those around me. As we approached the end of the program, I realized that i had never really experienced the sound and the shock wave as I had always been busy dialed in 1600mm or 1200mm and trying to keep her in my frame. On the very last mission, I stepped back and actually watched her and felt the top of the VAB move. Even though I have been up there for countless launches, I had never felt it even though people talked about it around me. Yes...I can confirm, I have surfed the roof of the VAB (the roof does ripple) and so has Ben.

This video is good. A few friends of mine pointed me to it. You can see my arms and my camera on the far right as i reposition off the tripod to shoot her solid booster sep. I don't know who shot it but i am glad he did!

the link below is to the Youtube video of STS-117 from about 3.1 miles away from LC-39A

http://youtu.be/xsRuJ37kyZg


While the video is running, I got this shot.


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Photo © Suresh A. Atapattu



I will tell you one thing though, my wife will be happier if the next vehicle will have a better go rate on first attempt!  
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RE: Shuttle Shots: Thank You Suresh!

Sat Mar 24, 2012 5:15 am

My favorite of the videos, to get an idea of what it is like from three miles away, is STS-92 by a Japanese reporter...turn your spreakers up. It also captures the light well for a launch that was about 25 minutes after sunset, so you see both how bright it is at night but also still have light in the sky for contrast.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l55vjzyj0EY

Suresh, we had a lot of great times. The return to flight rollout (STS-114) was the long one, noon to midnight. But probably the best one that I got to see as well, as it went from day to twilight to night. You did not do remote cameras until the end, but that is definitely the back-breaking work to get the one shot you guys see here each time. It takes ALL DAY to set up remotes for shuttle on some launches. The shuttle pads were very big, so different locations amounts to 1-2 miles apart on opposite sides (compared to the rockets, which have much smaller pads and takes 1-2 hours to set up normally). Of course, I frequently put out a lot more cameras for the space shuttle! Not to mention having lost equipment on some of them. I've had lenses destroyed, cameras ruined. I'll miss the shuttle launches dearly, but perhaps less so the long sweaty setups, particularly in July and August (rolls eyes).

It may be that I did not realize the fact that they have been allowing me to upload shots if they are from opposite sides. Looking at those same-launch shots rejected, I think perhaps they are only similar ones in some cases lately. Just uploaded a new one of one launch, so we'll see.

Feel free to check out mine and his websites for more of any of the launches, of course! Mine is below if you are not familiar.

Ben Cooper
http://www.LaunchPhotography.com/

[Edited 2012-03-23 22:19:59]
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RE: Shuttle Shots: Thank You Suresh!

Sat Mar 24, 2012 5:42 am

Both of you guys' work are simply stellar.
Thanks for all the effort and hard work pulling off these wonderful works of photographic art.
The Space Shuttle is one of mankind's great achievements and it will be dearly missed.
At least these pictures gives us regular people from other parts of the world some sense of experiencing what a shuttle or rocket launch is like. The advent of youtube and publishing of all those shuttle cams offers some views we have never seen before and the clarity and quality of it is just incredible. One such example which floored me is this one professionally edited by Skywalker Sound studios, with the absense of noise and clutter the power of the solid rocket boosters are surely felt on my speakers and then the deep erie groans of low orbit space.. Pretty amazing.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2aCOy...FZYlh7Q&index=1&feature=plpp_video

Look forward to seeing more works from both of you in future launches, whether rockets, maybe Soyuz's if you guys decide to cover Kazakhstan, and whatever vehicles in the coming decades 
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eksath
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RE: Shuttle Shots: Thank You Suresh!

Sat Mar 24, 2012 10:42 am

Quoting LaunchPhoto (Reply 12):
It may be that I did not realize the fact that they have been allowing me to upload shots if they are from opposite sides. Looking at those same-launch shots rejected, I think perhaps they are only similar ones in some cases lately. Just uploaded a new one of one launch, so we'll see.

I am sorry if we have not discussed this before.

So the rule is best understood when you think of the airliner shots accepted here (in my reading of the rule). One can submit only one shot of one side of an approach,ramp, or takeoff. So if you get to shoot both sides of it-even during an approach,ramp or takeoff, then you would be OK.

Applied to the shuttle,it should be the same as above.

Since on a shuttle launch or rocket there are mulitiple cameras and different vantage point giving distinctly different views, this should allow them to get in- in theory. However, i have had rejections. Not too long ago, i submitted the back side of the stack after the roll. Previously I had got accepted a shot (the one above from STS-117) as she clears the tower hence it is only the top side view skewed to the port side. Technically, there is 180+ degree sep in my two shots, but one of the rejection reasons (Reject reason: "Part of sequence = double. Too much dead space too, needs portrait format double personal" ) . I recommend you put a note with the picture explaining why you think it is different and perhaps that will help or you can appeal to the headscreeners. I did not as i have to fix the other issues first and then resubmit as i think the two pictures are fundamentally different hence not doubles.
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RE: Shuttle Shots: Thank You Suresh!

Mon Mar 26, 2012 4:11 am

Quoting eksath (Reply 4):

Congrats Suresh, and thank you so much for the photos! They're really enjoyable to look at. And best of luck with your next adventure  

→Zach
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eksath
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RE: Shuttle Shots: Thank You Suresh!

Fri Mar 30, 2012 1:34 pm

Quoting PHX787 (Reply 15):
Congrats Suresh, and thank you so much for the photos! They're really enjoyable to look at. And best of luck with your next adventure

Thank you Zach. Appreciate the feedback! It makes all the long hard days worth it when we know that what we are preserving is appreciated. Lot of sacrifice,toil and sweat go into those shots.Not to mention the blood donations to all the mosquitoes,bugs, thorny bushes etc.

Quoting BO__einG (Reply 13):
Look forward to seeing more works from both of you in future launches, whether rockets, maybe Soyuz's if you guys decide to cover Kazakhstan, and whatever vehicles in the coming decades

Thanks! Looking forward to the commercial launches leaving the Cape starting with Space X's next iteration sometime at the end of April. Not the same visual effect as a shuttle but as Bob Cabana (former shuttle commander and current KSC director) said "it is time to evolve!" .  

While I wont rule out Kazakhstan, I will leave that to Ben for now! He seems to like going to the ends of the Earth!
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RE: Shuttle Shots: Thank You Suresh!

Fri Mar 30, 2012 3:18 pm

Suresh and Ben, your shots have been an inspiration for years already. I don't know how many of them ended up as my desktop wallpaper. Thanks a lot for your great work and dedication, I hope to meet both of you in MIA in a not too distant future.

(Or hop over to SXM in 2 weeks - beer will be on me   )

Quoting eksath (Reply 11):
I will tell you one thing though, my wife will be happier if the next vehicle will have a better go rate on first attempt!

So will I...   

I was in MIA in March 2010, to see the STS-131 launch. But it was postponed, so I missed it.  
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RE: Shuttle Shots: Thank You Suresh!

Fri Mar 30, 2012 7:18 pm

Thanks for spacemen, Suresh and Ben for great photos which I probably never get to see unless on A.net. We do have a place in Kazakhstan known as Baikonyr which is currently in use by Russia. I never had a chance to go there but I'll try to make it in soonest future. Once again, thanks for historical photos. They are great! Please keep them coming if possible.
Best regards, Yerbol from Almaty, Kazakhstan.
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eksath
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RE: Shuttle Shots: Thank You Suresh!

Wed Apr 04, 2012 1:34 pm

Quoting ZakHH (Reply 17):
Or hop over to SXM in 2 weeks - beer will be on me

Thank you Zak! Unfortunately, i have to pass on SXM. At approx. 1730H on 04/10, N905NA will arrive at KSC to start the process of taking Discovery to the Smithsonian. So 4/10-4/17 will be pretty much devoted to that process. My photos of Discovery will officially end at wheels up for "NASA 905 Heavy".

Quoting yerbol (Reply 18):
I never had a chance to go there but I'll try to make it in soonest future. Once again, thanks for historical photos. They are great! Please keep them coming if possible.

Thanks. I have seen many pictures from NASA photographers who go there for launches in an official capacity and they are all very cool and intriguing. I am particularly amazed at the proximity of staff to the rocket and astronauts/cosmonauts. NASA has a much bigger quarantine and safety bubble...much much bigger! Also, the locomotives that drag the rockets out to the pad are so different from the NASA's crawlers. I hope you get an opportunity to do that and look forward to seeing your pictures of it.
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RE: Shuttle Shots: Thank You Suresh!

Tue Apr 17, 2012 1:03 am

Quoting eksath (Reply 19):
My photos of Discovery will officially end at wheels up for "NASA 905 Heavy".

I can't believe you've already ruled out a visit to her new home.

We have all enjoyed your and Ben's pictures. This is truly the end of an epic era. I am lucky to have seen a number of launches, both from close (the causeway) and far (Disney World).
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RE: Shuttle Shots: Thank You Suresh!

Wed Apr 18, 2012 12:16 pm

Quoting unattendedbag (Reply 20):
I can't believe you've already ruled out a visit to her new home.

Discovery is the orbiter that i had the closest association with.

The first i sat inside, the first i saw in the OPF, the first upclose launch,the first landing the first ferry flight and so on..

It is a bit strange to not have her around KSC. I guess it will take some getting used to. One day i will visit her at the Smithsonian but for now i prefer to have the last image of her flying off.

Quoting unattendedbag (Reply 20):
This is truly the end of an epic era.

Yes. It is slowly sinking in. I am bracing myself for the last departure of Endeavour. I think it will be the hardest. Almost like the last landing or even worse.
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RE: Shuttle Shots: Thank You Suresh!

Wed Apr 25, 2012 8:58 am

Quoting eksath (Reply 21):
Yes. It is slowly sinking in. I am bracing myself for the last departure of Endeavour. I think it will be the hardest. Almost like the last landing or even worse.

I just wanted to say that, as someone who has never had any real connection to the Shuttle program (aside from casually watching a few launches and landings on TV), your posts and photo remarks have been fascinating and absolutely beautiful to read. Reflecting on the end of a great era through the perspective of someone so intimately involved with it as you are is heartwarming and heartbreaking at the same time. I can't even imagine what it must be like for everyone involved to see the shuttles finally head off to start their new lives, inspiring the public up close and personal across the country.

Quoting eksath (Reply 4):
I have made some friends for life.

And that's the most important part!   


I've just started learning with photography and I feel humbled to even post in the same thread with such incredible photographers. Thank you Suresh and Ben so very much for your stunning photos; I can honestly say that I will appreciate them like I never have before.
"And that's why you always leave a note..."
 
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RE: Shuttle Shots: Thank You Suresh!

Thu Apr 26, 2012 5:22 am

Suresh and Ben I have been an airliners.net fan for years and I often wondered if I ever encountered you guys during my time working at KSC. I was an engineer in one of the orbiter systems groups, two actually. Ben that launch photo you have posted here for STS-118 was on my desktop wallpaper for a long time. It was my first mission sitting console for launch. I was so nervous that day. I can remember it like it was yesterday. KSC will always be the best place I have ever worked. Thanks for putting the photos up here it always give me a trip down memory lane looking at the various missions I worked.
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