APOD: The Last Launch of Space Shuttle... (2011 May 18)

Comments and questions about the APOD on the main view screen.
User avatar
APOD Robot
Otto Posterman
Posts: 5466
Joined: Fri Dec 04, 2009 3:27 am

APOD: The Last Launch of Space Shuttle... (2011 May 18)

Post by APOD Robot » Wed May 18, 2011 4:05 am

Image The Last Launch of Space Shuttle Endeavour

Explanation: Two days ago, powerful yet controlled explosions rocketed the Space Shuttle Endeavour on its final trip into Earth orbit. The above image was taken seconds after liftoff as the massive orbiter and six astronauts began a climb to a height where the atmosphere is so thin it is unbreathable. The shuttle, on mission STS-134, is expected to dock with the International Space Station (ISS) today. The Endeavour will deliver to the ISS, among other things, an ambitious detector called the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer 2 (AMS), a detector that over the next few years could detect a significant abundance of specific types of dark matter, charged antimatter, and even a strangely possible variation of familiar matter called strangelets. The very last trip for any space shuttle is currently planned for mid-July when Atlantis will also visit the space station.

<< Previous APODDiscuss Any APOD Next APOD >>
[/b]

User avatar
Indigo_Sunrise
Science Officer
Posts: 439
Joined: Fri Jul 15, 2005 1:40 pm
Location: Md

Re: APOD: The Last Launch of Space Shuttle... (2011 May 18)

Post by Indigo_Sunrise » Wed May 18, 2011 10:37 am

Awe-inspiring! I always like shuttle pix.
And it's a little sad, knowing it's the penultimate launch for any of the shuttles. I've always hoped to see one in person, but as of right now there's only one more chance, and at this point it doesn't look good. :( (At least I've been able to see a lot of them on tv. Oh, and the NASA page!)

Great image! Interesting links, too!

:mrgreen:
Forget the box, just get outside.

User avatar
Redbone
Ensign
Posts: 89
Joined: Tue Oct 09, 2007 11:14 am
Location: Frederick Maryland, USA

Re: APOD: The Last Launch of Space Shuttle... (2011 May 18)

Post by Redbone » Wed May 18, 2011 12:07 pm

The full resolution image clearly shows a bit of fire coming from the shuttle's left engine. I wonder if this is normal? We've gotten so used to having the shuttle that pictures of the Russian capsule parachuting to earth seem primitive. It's very sad to see the end of the shuttle program, especially with no replacement in sight.

User avatar
orin stepanek
Plutopian
Posts: 8200
Joined: Wed Jul 27, 2005 3:41 pm
Location: Nebraska

Re: APOD: The Last Launch of Space Shuttle... (2011 May 18)

Post by orin stepanek » Wed May 18, 2011 12:24 pm

The shuttle launches are great and they make great wallpaper! :)
Orin

Smile today; tomorrow's another day!

User avatar
neufer
Vacationer at Tralfamadore
Posts: 18805
Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2008 1:57 pm
Location: Alexandria, Virginia

Re: APOD: The Last Launch of Space Shuttle... (2011 May 18)

Post by neufer » Wed May 18, 2011 12:36 pm

Indigo_Sunrise wrote:
And it's a little sad, knowing it's the penultimate launch for any of the shuttles.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Space_Shuttle wrote:
<<Roger A. Pielke, Jr. has estimated that the Space Shuttle program has cost about US $170,000 million through early 2008.

This works out to an average cost per flight of about US $1,500 million.>>
Redbone wrote:
We've gotten so used to having the shuttle that pictures of the Russian capsule parachuting to earth seem primitive.
It's very sad to see the end of the shuttle program, especially with no replacement in sight.
http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=9262.0 wrote:
<<Even the most expensive estimates for Soyuz are around US $65 million per flight.>>
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allen_Telescope_Array wrote:
<<The Allen Telescope Array was a joint effort by the SETI Institute and the Radio Astronomy Laboratory at the University of California, Berkeley to construct a radio interferometer that is dedicated to astronomical observations and a simultaneous search for extraterrestrial intelligence.

First conceived by SETI pioneer Frank Drake, the idea has been a dream of the SETI Institute for years. However, it was not until early 2001 that research and development commenced after a donation of $11.5 million by the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation. In March 2004, following successful completion of a three-year research and development phase, the SETI Institute unveiled a three-tier construction plan for the telescope. Construction began right after, due to the pledge of $13.5 million by Paul Allen to support the construction of the first and second phases. The SETI Institute named the telescope in his honor. Overall Paul Allen has contributed more than $30 million to the project.

The ATA is under construction at the Hat Creek Radio Observatory, 290 miles northeast of San Francisco, California. When completed, the array is expected to consist of 350 antennas. The first phase with 42 antennas (ATA-42) is complete and became operational on 11 October 2007.

However, in April 2011, the ATA was placed in operational hibernation due to funding shortfalls.>>
Art Neuendorffer

nstahl
Science Officer
Posts: 233
Joined: Mon Nov 29, 2004 4:08 am

Re: APOD: The Last Launch of Space Shuttle... (2011 May 18)

Post by nstahl » Wed May 18, 2011 12:57 pm

It is a nice shot.

And for the second day in a row the direct link from yesterday's APOD to today's is broken because there's an extra zero in it. Systematic error?

Boris825

Re: APOD: The Last Launch of Space Shuttle... (2011 May 18)

Post by Boris825 » Wed May 18, 2011 1:17 pm

The full res image reveals an interesting array of cameras and instruments in the foreground. I also spy a seagull above the shuttle that looks to be in danger of getting roasted.

APODFORIST
Ensign
Posts: 66
Joined: Sun Jan 02, 2011 4:31 pm

Re: APOD: The Last Launch of Space Shuttle... (2011 May 18)

Post by APODFORIST » Wed May 18, 2011 1:20 pm

Redbone wrote:The full resolution image clearly shows a bit of fire coming from the shuttle's left engine. I wonder if this is normal?
All three engines show "a bit of fire". Just have a look a bit downwards and you will see the other two fires also.

The one you detected is the fire of the shuttle's upper engine

User avatar
neufer
Vacationer at Tralfamadore
Posts: 18805
Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2008 1:57 pm
Location: Alexandria, Virginia

"It just blew up"

Post by neufer » Wed May 18, 2011 1:48 pm

http://www.nj.com/hobokennow/index.ssf/2011/05/photos_hoboken_womans_pictures.html wrote:
PHOTOS: Hoboken woman's pictures of Endeavour space shuttle liftoff go viral
The Jersey Journal: Wednesday, May 18, 2011, 8:46 AM <<Groggy from a late night watching the Yankees, frigid from a chilled airplane cabin, Stefanie Gordon stirred to action after the pilot's announcement.

Lifting her iPhone to the plane's window, the Hoboken woman captured an otherworldly image that rocketed around the globe as fast as her subject: Space shuttle Endeavour soaring from a bank of clouds, its towering plume of white smoke lighting the azure sky.

She had never imagined the response her airborne image - capturing the last launch of Endeavour and the penultimate space shuttle flight - would ignite.

The images and video have been viewed hundreds of thousands of times on Twitter alone, landed on network newscasts and been published in newspapers worldwide. In turn, they've made a photographic celebrity of sorts of the unemployed 33-year-old.

"It just blew up," she said of the attention.

Gordon caught an early Delta flight from New York to West Palm Beach on Monday and had a whole row to herself, never imagining the history she would record. She stretched out and took a nap. Then she awoke shortly before the pilot announced the descent had begun and that a sighting of the shuttle was possible. She had forgotten Endeavour was even taking off at 8:56 a.m. EDT, but readied her iPhone just in case.

Then, the pilot came on again, alerting passengers the shuttle was in sight. "Everybody ran over to the east side of the plane," Gordon said today, "and all of a sudden there it was in the clouds."

All told, she shot 12 seconds of footage of the shuttle arcing on its simple stream of smoke into space. She also shot three still photographs.

The plane landed minutes later in West Palm Beach and while she was waiting at the luggage carousel, at 9:31 a.m., she began uploading to Twitter. As she waited for her father to pick her up, she realized her work was making a splash.>>
Art Neuendorffer

APODFORIST
Ensign
Posts: 66
Joined: Sun Jan 02, 2011 4:31 pm

Re: APOD: The Last Launch of Space Shuttle... (2011 May 18)

Post by APODFORIST » Wed May 18, 2011 2:11 pm

I wonder why NASA don't make those far distance photos or videos ... They open the minds for what is going on much more than focused tele shots.

User avatar
geckzilla
Ocular Digitator
Posts: 9180
Joined: Wed Sep 12, 2007 12:42 pm
Location: Modesto, CA

Re: APOD: The Last Launch of Space Shuttle... (2011 May 18)

Post by geckzilla » Wed May 18, 2011 2:55 pm

Have they? Or do they need to? There's always a lot of photos and videos of the shuttle whenever there is a launch and there are others like this one but it is quite striking for a number of reasons. I am under the impression that the focused shots are more useful for ensuring the shuttle isn't falling apart on its way up. Ever since Columbia they've been even more vigilant.
Just call me "geck" because "zilla" is like a last name.

User avatar
Indigo_Sunrise
Science Officer
Posts: 439
Joined: Fri Jul 15, 2005 1:40 pm
Location: Md

Re: APOD: The Last Launch of Space Shuttle... (2011 May 18)

Post by Indigo_Sunrise » Wed May 18, 2011 3:31 pm

Boris825 wrote:I also spy a seagull above the shuttle that looks to be in danger of getting roasted.

That's probably just depth perception: that gull is closer to the camera than to the shuttle, I'd wager......


:wink:
Forget the box, just get outside.

User avatar
rstevenson
Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?
Posts: 2705
Joined: Fri Mar 28, 2008 1:24 pm
Location: Halifax, NS, Canada

Re: APOD: The Last Launch of Space Shuttle... (2011 May 18)

Post by rstevenson » Wed May 18, 2011 3:49 pm

Boris825 wrote:... I also spy a seagull above the shuttle that looks to be in danger of getting roasted.
That's one of the little known perks of working at the Cape. You get to pick up ready-roasted birds after each launch. Of course, it's luck of the draw as to just what kind of bird you're going to get and how well done it is. Sometimes it's just a cinder, and sometimes it needs a little extra time on the barby.

Rob

:mrgreen:

User avatar
JohnD
Tea Time, Guv! Cheerio!
Posts: 1584
Joined: Wed Feb 16, 2005 2:11 pm
Location: Lancaster, England

Re: APOD: The Last Launch of Space Shuttle... (2011 May 18)

Post by JohnD » Wed May 18, 2011 5:34 pm

Stefanie Gordon wasn't the only one in the air above Florida that day:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GE_USPTmYXM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xv5J5cBw ... ure=fvwrel
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t30R7QSA ... re=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mJnXpREIRzQ&NR=1

It's been done before, but not so well:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2-4Ztz5x ... re=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uyarOxJ6 ... re=related (What's a tail-dragger?)
So I don't know why so much fuss has been made of Ms.Gordon's. Her's is considerably inferior.

And these look like (are?) the official NASA monitoring-from-flight pictures:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X-ei4qBX ... re=related

John

User avatar
JohnD
Tea Time, Guv! Cheerio!
Posts: 1584
Joined: Wed Feb 16, 2005 2:11 pm
Location: Lancaster, England

Re: APOD: The Last Launch of Space Shuttle... (2011 May 18)

Post by JohnD » Wed May 18, 2011 5:41 pm

Rob,
What does seagull taste of?

Reminds me of the man who was in court, accused of shooting an eagle.
"It just flew across my sights as I pulled the trigger, m'lord!" he said to the Judge, " and as I never kill anything I don't eat, I ate the eagle."
"A very reasonable explanation, " said the learned adjudicator, "Case dismissed!"
"But tell, me, what does eagle taste of?"
"M'lord, a bit like swan."

John

User avatar
rstevenson
Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?
Posts: 2705
Joined: Fri Mar 28, 2008 1:24 pm
Location: Halifax, NS, Canada

Re: APOD: The Last Launch of Space Shuttle... (2011 May 18)

Post by rstevenson » Wed May 18, 2011 7:00 pm

JohnD wrote:Rob,
What does seagull taste of?
A bit fishy most times. But be sure to peel off the skin, otherwise you'll get a bunch of polyunpronounceables from the traces of unburned fuel.

Rob

W5WAR

Re: APOD: The Last Launch of Space Shuttle... (2011 May 18)

Post by W5WAR » Thu May 19, 2011 4:15 am

Boris825 wrote:The full res image reveals an interesting array of cameras and instruments in the foreground. I also spy a seagull above the shuttle that looks to be in danger of getting roasted.
That seagull is, in fact, a bald eagle who lives near there.
thanks.

BA

User avatar
Beyond
500 Gigaderps
Posts: 6889
Joined: Tue Aug 04, 2009 11:09 am
Location: BEYONDER LAND

Re: APOD: The Last Launch of Space Shuttle... (2011 May 18)

Post by Beyond » Thu May 19, 2011 4:21 am

Seeing as how this will be the "last" time a crew will be able to "Monkey" around with the Space Shuttle Endeavor, lets hope they have a "Pleasent Valley Sunday". :rocketship:
To find the Truth, you must go Beyond.

User avatar
neufer
Vacationer at Tralfamadore
Posts: 18805
Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2008 1:57 pm
Location: Alexandria, Virginia

dating an owl!

Post by neufer » Thu May 19, 2011 12:39 pm

W5WAR wrote:
Boris825 wrote:
I also spy a seagull above the shuttle that looks to be in danger of getting roasted.
That seagull is, in fact, a bald eagle who lives near there.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/photogator ... hotostream
Click to play embedded YouTube video.
Click to play embedded YouTube video.
Art Neuendorffer

amfrushour

Re: APOD: The Last Launch of Space Shuttle... (2011 May 18)

Post by amfrushour » Mon May 23, 2011 10:53 pm

I was at the STS-134 liftoff, the final launch of Space Shuttle Endeavour, on the NASA Causeway. The launch was amazing, got some good photos from angles different than the ones on the NASA Kennedy Space Center Media Gallery webpage http://mediaarchive.ksc.nasa.gov/index.cfm. But, Endeavour went into a low cloud deck so I only got to see the first 20 seconds after liftoff.

disappointedinu

Re: APOD: The Last Launch of Space Shuttle... (2011 May 18)

Post by disappointedinu » Sat May 28, 2011 10:46 pm

last trip ??? expecting more INFO!!!! I click, only to "LAst TRAIN to clarksville" 0_o

darkages

Re: APOD: The Last Launch of Space Shuttle... (2011 May 18)

Post by darkages » Sat May 28, 2011 11:15 pm

orin stepanek wrote:The shuttle launches are great and they make great wallpaper! :)
I'd never use shuttle images for wallpaper being a constant reminder that we don't all have flying cars with anti-gravity engines, and the further reminder of the reasons why not. What waste this life was. What a world it could have been if everyone worked together, not lust for oil fields and poppy fields for profit.

User avatar
Star*Hopper
Science Officer
Posts: 195
Joined: Sat Feb 04, 2006 6:50 pm
Location: Down East

Re: APOD: The Last Launch of Space Shuttle... (2011 May 18)

Post by Star*Hopper » Sun May 29, 2011 11:39 am

disappointedinu wrote:last trip ??? expecting more INFO!!!! I click, only to "LAst TRAIN to clarksville" 0_o
Rick-rolling is alive & well!!!
:P
"Perhaps I'll never touch a star, but at least let me reach." ~J Faircloth

User avatar
Star*Hopper
Science Officer
Posts: 195
Joined: Sat Feb 04, 2006 6:50 pm
Location: Down East

Re: APOD: The Last Launch of Space Shuttle... (2011 May 18)

Post by Star*Hopper » Sun May 29, 2011 1:09 pm

amfrushour wrote:I was at the STS-134 liftoff, the final launch of Space Shuttle Endeavour, on the NASA Causeway. The launch was amazing, got some good photos from angles different than the ones on the NASA Kennedy Space Center Media Gallery webpage http://mediaarchive.ksc.nasa.gov/index.cfm. But, Endeavour went into a low cloud deck so I only got to see the first 20 seconds after liftoff.
I & family went down to view what was supposed to have been the final Atlantis launch [STS-132] on 14 May of last year. Found a good spot, [the crowds were unbeLIEVable], got tripod & vid-cam all set up well ahead of time, waited out the final 3.5 hours in 90° heat and at about T-30 secs realized my battery was deader'n a bent doornail! Managed to at least get this cap on my cel-cam:
Image

As I've told many times, you can watch all the pix & videos & full-fledged movies in the world, with all their smoke & flames & camera vibes.....but there ain't nothing....NOTHING like being there and experiencing it live!! It just CAN NOT be captured on any known form of media....and if you get to experience it yourself, you'll know why!

Another sensation you can't realize from film - the speed. THAT suckah BOOKS, y'all!! You think a AA Fuel Dragster 'digs out'? -- pshaw, peddle-cars! You're left kinda stunned about how quickly it "gets gone", leaving you kinda wondering was those few seconds worth all the traveling & hassle & expense.
(It is! *LOL*)

And even realizing those crowds (I loathe crowds!) will be nothing like what they will be for the upcoming July finale....I'm already making plans to be there!
"Perhaps I'll never touch a star, but at least let me reach." ~J Faircloth

User avatar
Star*Hopper
Science Officer
Posts: 195
Joined: Sat Feb 04, 2006 6:50 pm
Location: Down East

Re: APOD: The Last Launch of Space Shuttle... (2011 May 18)

Post by Star*Hopper » Sun May 29, 2011 1:21 pm

Star*Hopper wrote: I & family went down to view what was supposed to have been the final Atlantis launch [STS-132] on 14 May of last year. ...

Oh and.....you know those lobster-tanks at front of seafood restaurants where you can pick your own for dinner?

Image


(And yes, Lord I'm really sorry for that....and please be with all the starving pygmies down in New Guinea}
"Perhaps I'll never touch a star, but at least let me reach." ~J Faircloth