The Most Unforgettable Space Shuttle Pictures: (Nat Geo Tribute-saying good-bye)

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posted on Jul, 22 2011 @ 08:51 AM
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Shots chosen by National Geographic photo editors as the most memorable pictures from the entire U.S. space shuttle program.



Even with the tragic losses of Challenger and Columbia, the space shuttle has become an icon among U.S. science and technology achievements. During the past three decades, shuttles carried the first U.S. woman and the first African American into space, deployed famous satellites such as the Hubble Space Telescope, and delivered valuable parts and supplies to the International Space Station (ISS).


Getting Misty


Sitting on a rolling platform, the space shuttle Challenger emerges from the mist at Kennedy Space Center in Florida as it heads toward the launch pad, just visible in the distance, in November 1982. Challenger lifted off on its maiden voyage in April 1983 for the sixth shuttle mission.


Earning Its Stripes


Suspended above the planet, the space shuttle Endeavour is silhouetted against the layers of Earth's atmosphere in a picture taken by an ISS crew member on February 9, 2010. The shot shows the shuttle shortly before it docked with the space station during STS-130.


Two Satellites, Slightly Used


Seen outside the space shuttle Discovery during STS-51-A, astronaut Dale Gardner enjoys a moment of levity as he completes a spacewalk to recover two broken communications satellites from orbit on November 14, 1984. Astronaut Joseph P. Allen IV is seen reflected in Gardner's helmet visor.


Tragedy Strikes


A cloud of debris spreads in the sky over coastal Florida as the space shuttle Challenger breaks apart on January 28, 1986. The orbiter disintegrated 74 seconds after launch during STS-61-C, killing all seven crew members.


Big Apple Shuttle


Riding piggyback on a Boeing 747, the test shuttle Enterprise glides over the New York City skyline in June 1983. Unable to fly like airplanes under their own power, shuttle orbiters had to be transported long distances atop of other aircraft.


Hanging Out


Seen from the space shuttle's payload bay, astronaut Mark Lee goes for an untethered spacewalk outside Discovery in September 1994.



Grim Legacy


A charred astronaut helmet lying in the grass near Norwood, Texas, was among the debris found after the space shuttle Columbia broke apart during reentry on February 1, 2003. The orbiter had completed STS-107 and was returning for landing, but damaged heat shielding caused the craft to disintegrate, killing all seven crew members.


Source: news.nationalgeographic.com...:01#/best-unforgettable-sp ace-shuttle-pictures-challenger-fog_37677_600x450.jpg

There are many more photos at the article site. Check them out and let it be known what you favorite shot is.
Or if you have other ones. Like my avatar/min-pic on the left. My favorite.

I have to tell you that seeing the two shots of the Shuttle that didn't return in one piece really tugged at my heart.
I wish I would have been more involved over the years and not just at the highlights.

Same to see it go, for sure but I am excited to see what comes next (after the rides with the Ruskies). I just can't help but believe we have something going on now. Something that we don't have to rely on anyone else. Sorry it is just me. We, the USA, needs to be the leader in Space Exploration.

Why anon72? Why can't you be a globalist when it comes to space. Well, I can be. I am not the problem. It is the other countries like Russia, China, India that I don't trust. Call me old fashion but I think they would love to get the higher ground and use it against the USA.

Anyway, sit back, chill, relax and enjoy.




posted on Jul, 22 2011 @ 09:28 AM
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Hey K. K. If you are seeing these, they were for you buddy.


Thanks so much, to you and others, for the assistance you gave me over time in gaining full respect for the NASA/Shuttle missions.

Some people I know stopped by as I was hitting the send button on the original thread. We have been chatting about it ever since. All reflecting different memories.

It's funny how events (good and bad) are viewed and/or remembered by people. Hell, I was about 22 and heading to Florida when the first one was destroyed. The guy we were staying with was a USAF Ordinance type. He met us, let us in and that was the last we seen of him as he was out on partol looking for pieces/parts etc.

At that time, honestly, my first time in Fla. I hardly paid attention to the ordeal. Now, I wish I would have been with my buddy on duty.

Anyone else have a Shuttle story they wish to share.



posted on Jul, 22 2011 @ 09:53 AM
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I saw these on NATGEO's FB feed. Awesome pics!

I added some to my shuttle thread I'm working on. I would have had it done sooner but was without my computer for three weeks and I didn't lose my work so that helped!


I like the "for sale" pic. I always liked that pic. I also like the night launch pictures and the ones of it docked with the ISS (most recently Endeavour).

I also love my pics from the rollout of Atlantis



posted on Jul, 22 2011 @ 10:09 AM
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I LOVE this picture!


A tornado forms a dark column near the launch pad, where the space shuttle Columbia waits to launch on STS-93, as seen on July 20, 1999. The shuttle lifted off July 23, carrying NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory into orbit.


Awesome!



This is another person favorite from very recent. Endeavour on the pad and a lightning storm in the back. That was an intense storm too! I remember it well.


This was a nasty storm! I remember this because the pic was all over the news here the next day.



posted on Jul, 22 2011 @ 12:13 PM
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Awesome choices Sir.

I look forward to your thread. I can't get enough of them.

I think my favorite one is the Astronaut without a teather, floating outside the Shuttle. How wonderful and daring that must be. I personally would have been facing the other way-towards Earth- "I wonder if I can see my house mode".

Glad you like them. I guess there has been a lot of different type of threads on the Shuttle recently and maybe people are getting tired of them-but for me... you can't have enough intel and pics from there. There won't be anymore so...



posted on Jul, 22 2011 @ 02:39 PM
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I like this photo not for it's aesthetics, the launch pad lightning and the upright stance above the night earth with the starry sky rank higher. This photo illustrates what no other spacecraft ever built can do.





Astronauts John M. Grunsfeld (right) and Richard M. Linnehan stand next to the Hubble Space Telescope, which was brought into the space shuttle Columbia's payload bay for repairs during STS-109, as seen on March 8, 2002.



posted on Jul, 22 2011 @ 02:47 PM
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reply to post by mblahnikluver
 


Lightning was a serious concern for the Space Shuttle as it may not fair as well as the Apollo spacecrafts did. Since Apollo 12 *created or induced lightning shortly after liftoff that traveled all the way down to the launch pad*, extensive lightning studies were undertaken by NASA. The tall pole above the Shuttle launch structure is there to attract lightning, but if NASA could (weather report wise) they would haul the Shuttle back into the Vehicle Assembly Building until the storm passed.



posted on Jul, 22 2011 @ 02:52 PM
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reply to post by anon72
 


The one of the charred helmet is haunting....ugh



posted on Jul, 22 2011 @ 02:57 PM
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Remembering where you were the days of the tragedies is like remembering where you were when Kennedy was assassinated. It is not something you really forget. We all have out stories.

Great Post OP. One has to think if we can be flying around up there, why can't someone else be? We have progressed by leaps and bounds when you think about it, all the way back to the mercury program, not to mention apollo as well. We must move ahead no doubt, and it is good to know there are some working on it even in the private sector. It does give one hope.


Anyhow this is one of my favorites even though it wasn't among the choices! One for the ladies as we were there too during the good the bad and the ugly. This would be considered one of my dreams to do!





posted on Jul, 22 2011 @ 03:09 PM
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great pics all, thanks for posting ! I'll never forget watching the first launch while at school, very big deal. I'm 44, and in a way I feel like the "shuttle generation"



posted on Jul, 22 2011 @ 04:03 PM
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Amazing but also some sad pictures,always facsinating to look at & wonder what it's like to look out at the stars,must be scary & exciting at the same time.
Hopefully space travel will come back even stronger in the near future & give us even more amazing pictures like these.



posted on Jul, 22 2011 @ 04:52 PM
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reply to post by onehuman
 


That photo can't be from the Space Shuttle, there are no round windows?

I was 5 when Kennedy was killed, and when I heard he was being rushed to the hospital I told my mom he may have a chance now, (little did I know). We watched Apollo 11 land on the moon, right after we got our first color TV, (didn't matter). Saw the live broadcast of the reentry breakup, of course I didn't see it live though, I used to watch the news 24-7 during that time for a while, after I turned of CNN after Gulf War One ended. I hate that channel!



posted on Jul, 22 2011 @ 04:57 PM
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Originally posted by anon72
Awesome choices Sir.


I'm a girl



I look forward to your thread. I can't get enough of them.

Yea me too! It's on the shuttle program from beginning to end and the various shuttles involved. Sort of like a timeline tribute. I have done a couple shuttle threads and it will be like that only for the whole program. I will finally post my pics with some of the astronauts I met at a luncheon last summer



I think my favorite one is the Astronaut without a teather, floating outside the Shuttle. How wonderful and daring that must be. I personally would have been facing the other way-towards Earth- "I wonder if I can see my house mode".

That is a good one. First thing I thought was ok hope he doesn't float away next time! Being up there and looking down at Earth would be AWESOME! I'd want to just sit and stare, much like I do with the Moon now.


Glad you like them. I guess there has been a lot of different type of threads on the Shuttle recently and maybe people are getting tired of them-but for me... you can't have enough intel and pics from there. There won't be anymore so...


As someone who LOVES all things space esp my shuttles I love this thread! I saw the pics on their FB like I said and figured it would end up on here by either you or the other member who posts a lot of space threads


I like all the shuttle threads personally but I am HIGHLY bias



posted on Jul, 22 2011 @ 05:06 PM
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Originally posted by mblahnikluver

Originally posted by anon72
Awesome choices Sir.


I'm a girl


Enjoy your contributions ma'am. I notice you are grounded more in science than speculation.



posted on Jul, 22 2011 @ 05:09 PM
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Great pictures...checkout airliners.net and search space shuttle. Amazing photos. Copyrights so I did not link or post.



posted on Jul, 22 2011 @ 05:10 PM
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Originally posted by Illustronic
reply to post by mblahnikluver
 


Lightning was a serious concern for the Space Shuttle as it may not fair as well as the Apollo spacecrafts did. Since Apollo 12 *created or induced lightning shortly after liftoff that traveled all the way down to the launch pad*, extensive lightning studies were undertaken by NASA. The tall pole above the Shuttle launch structure is there to attract lightning, but if NASA could (weather report wise) they would haul the Shuttle back into the Vehicle Assembly Building until the storm passed.


Oh yeah there are plenty of lightning rods out there. When there is a thunderstorm if I look that way you can see them hitting all the poles.

I agree they should roll it back in!



posted on Jul, 22 2011 @ 05:13 PM
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Originally posted by Illustronic

Originally posted by mblahnikluver

Originally posted by anon72
Awesome choices Sir.


I'm a girl


Enjoy your contributions ma'am. I notice you are grounded more in science than speculation.


Why thank you


Science was always my favorite subject in school as well as math.

Oh I speculate
but mostly I go by what I have learned via science



posted on Jul, 22 2011 @ 05:43 PM
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How many people had the pleasure to enjoy LEO on the Space Shuttle? How many got multiple trips? OK, I'm being lazy, but I have a notion that someone has this info on their cyber fingertips.

What a trip that would be, just imagine.



posted on Jul, 22 2011 @ 08:49 PM
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reply to post by Illustronic
 


Ask and you shall receive. To me, this is the best Shuttle Mission InfoGraphic available.

Videos, info, mission stuff. It has it all.

ENJOY>

Space shuttle launch: infographic video history of the Nasa space shuttle
www.telegraph.co.uk...

Pssst. I was so hoping someone would ask something like that...



posted on Jul, 22 2011 @ 10:33 PM
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reply to post by anon72
 


Thanks for the link, and I just started to brows and noticed that the first mission landing by Columbia didn't use parachutes, and I was under the impression the Shuttles did to slow after touchdown. But you can clearly see the air breaks of the split tail in this shot.




Just a quick Google search and we see Discovery returning from STS-116 and it has a chute, and a nice view of the tail too.




When you think of all that went into the SR-71 Blackbird's heat resistance/expansion skin traveling a mere Mach 3, one has to be impressed with the Shuttles coming down at Mach 25! as a fireball for over 20 minutes of reentry. Though the Shuttle's skin shows some use, that bright white is amazingly clean.

I wish I had saved a photo of a man holding a block of the heat absorption tiles in a lab used on the Shuttle at a temperature of 2,500ºF without getting burned. Holding a glowing hot tile in his bare hands as you can see the outer edges as black, quite the heat displacement technology there. The spinoff technologies from the Shuttle program are staggering.

It was not a waste of time or money. One would think after Apollo, someone was going to do something like the Shuttle program, just to get the technologies in development if nothing else. Most folks just don't understand the size of the whole contained craft is in comparison to other spacecrafts, probably due to the piggyback transports on top of a huge 747. A co-worker ex-Rockwell guy was trying to explain to me just how large the triple deck cockpit was in the assembly building, and two entire Soyuz spacecraft's can fit in the Shuttle cargo bay behind that cockpit before the 3 main Shuttle engines assembly.

I can talk about the Shuttles for days, but I wish this link would have a quick reference to the mission designations (STS-59 for instance, our team's last mission support, we got commemorative mission patches the astronauts personally signed for us) and that clear list of the crews. For on mission STS-59 Dr. Tom Jones (no really) helped to explain on FOX news why and how Columbia blew apart on reentry, he was retired by then, but I have his autograph and watching it on TV I had to get the photo to show my now wife who watched it with me. I said to her, that guy on TV is hanging on our wall upstairs.





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