Monday, February 8, 2010

"we hung like space stations and rocket ships"

Dear home,
Despite having a stressful weekend of paper writing and covering an event for the University Press, I still managed to go to the beach to watch the last night shuttle launch. Twice, actually.

Originally, the shuttle was supposed to launch yesterday morning in the pre-dawn hour I love so much. Cassidy, Andy, Erin, and I packed a bunch of blankets and Marjorie to watch the launch from the beach. Unfortunately, there was a threatening band of clouds hovering over the space coast and the launch had to be rescheduled. We stayed at the beach until astronomical dawn (when the sky first starts to lighten, although it's difficult to perceive a difference and it's not really much lighter). I decided to make the best of my lack of sleep and just shoot the moon and the stars a little.
moon and stars
I also decided to take a few shots of the sun rising over campus and experiment some more, since I needed to stay awake until the event I was covering anyway.
campus sunrise HDR
Believe it or not, HDR is the only way to make the sunrise sky look like it did in person. The grass and cars, however, look pretty darn unnatural. My sleep-deprived brain likes that.

This morning, Cassidy and I went to the beach again, hoping that the launch would actually occur. There was an elderly couple not too far from us and a few silhouettes further down the beach, but pretty much no one turned out to see the last night shuttle launch ever.

This is my favorite shot of the series. This is the moment where the thruster detached from the shuttle, falling back to earth.
space shuttle 2

Before I came home to get some sleep, Cassidy suggested I photograph the moon like I did yesterday, just in case in turned out to be one of the best shots ever.
moon and stars 2
She was right.

*In case anyone was curious, the title of the post is Something Corporate lyrics. I could not get these lines out of my head this morning when I was trying to go back to sleep. "We hung like space stations and rocket ships and dreamed like we were things of the sky. We dressed like kings and queens and lovers and shouted out into the night 'we're never gonna die.'"


  1. Love the pictures! Was this really the last late night launch ever?

  2. Yeah. I'm pretty disappointed because this was my first (and last) night launch.