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  Best/most representative Space Shuttle photo

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Author Topic:   Best/most representative Space Shuttle photo
ilbasso
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Posts: 1494
From: Greensboro, NC USA
Registered: Feb 2006

posted 08-19-2011 09:39 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ilbasso   Click Here to Email ilbasso     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
With 135 missions to select from, if you had to pick a single photo that best typified the entire Space Shuttle program, which would you choose?

MrSpace86
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Posts: 1379
From: Gardner, KS, USA
Registered: Feb 2003

posted 08-19-2011 10:25 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for MrSpace86   Click Here to Email MrSpace86     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I would probably pick one of the photos taken by Paolo Nespoli as he was departing from the ISS. Those photos represent 13 of the 30 years the Space Shuttle was operational.

Jay Chladek
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Posts: 2211
From: Bellevue, NE, USA
Registered: Aug 2007

posted 08-20-2011 12:05 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jay Chladek   Click Here to Email Jay Chladek     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
That is more of an ISS photo though rather than one that sums up the WHOLE shuttle program. The task is a tough one because we ARE talking over three decades of shuttle based photos from Enterprise's ALT flights to the final touchdown of Atlantis.

I would say if there is a really good shot of a crowd of spectators watching a shuttle launch at night (where they are illuminated by the light from the SRB plumes and the camera is looking over their backs towards the shuttle), that might be a leading candidate since ultimately shuttle's history is probably the most closely tied to KSC with all the support work that was done.

Of the ones that I have seen, the image of Discovery from STS-114 during the first RPM manuever when it is nose on to the ISS sums things up pretty well. All you can see in the image is shuttle, it is flying free, and the shot is from an angle not normally seen until the RPF manuevers. In that shot, you can see the colors of the TPS materials, the weathering on the bottom, and the payload bay doors and RMS with OBSS arms quite well.

Robert Pearlman
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From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 08-20-2011 12:27 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
For me, when I think of the space shuttle, I think of this shot of Challenger, as seen during the STS-7 mission from the free-flyer SPAS-01, suspended against the black of space and hanging over the blue Earth.

Henry Heatherbank
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Posts: 146
From: Adelaide, South Australia
Registered: Apr 2005

posted 08-20-2011 03:19 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Henry Heatherbank     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Yes, the STS-7 photo Robert posted is the first one that came to my mind as well.

This is a very interesting question, because we must distinguish between the most commonly published photos (often ones already used to define the Shuttle years) versus those that epitomise the Shuttle program.

One of the most published photos that comes to mind is Bruce McCandless flying free with the MMU on STS 41-B in early 1984. But it doesn't capture the Shuttle.

One contender for photo epitomising the Shuttle program (or maybe what the program was MEANT to stand for) is the 51-A photo of Dale Gardner holding up the "For Sale" sign on EVA after rescuing one of those two wayward satellites. (Same photo as on the dust jacket to the book 'Realising Tomorrow'). This perhaps summed up the "promise" of the program before the Challenger incident.

Of course, in my opinion, the single most iconic photo of the Shuttle era is the one showing that horrible Y-shaped exhaust cloud on 28 January 1986. But it would be wrong if that were the Shuttle program's photographic epitaph...

James Brown
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From: Atlanta, Georgia, USA
Registered: Jun 2000

posted 08-20-2011 06:29 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for James Brown   Click Here to Email James Brown     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
For me, this photo I took of the STS-123 launch, will always be MY most representative shuttle program photo.

tegwilym
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Posts: 2284
From: Renton, WA USA
Registered: Jan 2000

posted 08-22-2011 03:42 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for tegwilym   Click Here to Email tegwilym     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by James Brown:
For me, this photo I took of the STS-123 launch, will always be MY most representative shuttle program photo.
Of course! That's such a great shot.

GoesTo11
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Posts: 1026
From: Denver, CO USA
Registered: Jun 2004

posted 08-22-2011 08:48 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for GoesTo11   Click Here to Email GoesTo11     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I wouldn't argue with any of the previous suggestions, but my own personal favorite would be this one.

I still remember the novelty of seeing a spaceship(!) return to Earth and land like an airplane... for me it distills the essence of what made the Shuttle different from everything that had come before it. Watching those early landings, it really did feel like we were seeing the future.

Of course, having been a kid at Edwards in the early 80s, I can hardly claim to be unbiased.

OV-105
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Posts: 589
From: Ridgecrest, CA USA
Registered: Sep 2000

posted 08-22-2011 10:30 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for OV-105   Click Here to Email OV-105     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I don't think one photo can represent the whole program. Look at all the era's of the program, Pre-Challenger, Post-Challenger, HST, ISS, and Post-Columbia. I am sure it could be even more than what I listed.

Tom
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Posts: 1275
From: New York
Registered: Nov 2000

posted 08-23-2011 10:47 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Tom   Click Here to Email Tom     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
If we could chose just one to represent the "entire" shuttle program, I would have to pick this one, where it all began.

ilbasso
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Posts: 1494
From: Greensboro, NC USA
Registered: Feb 2006

posted 08-23-2011 12:29 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ilbasso   Click Here to Email ilbasso     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I know it's hard to pick one - I do like the STS-1 liftoff and the STS-7 SPAS photos as "iconic."

My question is prompted by a friend who will be visiting the ASF show in November for the first time. He wants to get a photo signed by as many Shuttle astronauts as he can, and he asked for suggestions as to what that photo should be. I looked at the flight histories of each of the astronauts coming to ASF, and there isn't a single Orbiter that was common to all of them.

My other thought would be a collage, with one photo of each Orbiter (and you could throw in Enterprise for Haise's signature, too).

328KF
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posted 08-23-2011 01:26 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for 328KF   Click Here to Email 328KF     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It's virtually impossible to find one photo that conveys the entire history of the space shuttle program.

Given that there were distinct "periods" of the the 30 year program, a photo from any given one unfortunately fails to encompass the accomplishments during the others. One might choose a nostalgic photo from the early days say the OFT flights but the two most enduring legacies of the program, in terms of hardware, are the Hubble telescope and the ISS.

Having said that, now that we know the purpose behind the question, I think a photo of the lone orbiter above the Earth would be appropriate for signatures, particularly done in silver on the black sky area.

If you get away from the single photo idea, the fine book Space Shuttle: The First 20 Years would be a great item to have signed, and many of the astronauts who contributed the to the text of the book will be there.

Cozmosis22
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Posts: 262
From: Texas * Earth
Registered: Apr 2011

posted 08-23-2011 03:54 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Cozmosis22     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The front on view of the shuttle stack on the pad with the RSS rolled back is a favorite. For autograph purposes you might want to select an image with plenty of lighter colored open skies.

brianjbradley
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Posts: 78
From: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Registered: Dec 2010

posted 08-23-2011 08:29 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for brianjbradley   Click Here to Email brianjbradley     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I always liked more recent launch photography taken at sunrise and sunset, ie: launch sequences for STS-96, -92, -98, -102, -108 and -109. It was particularly special if you could see the launch plume reflected in the cloud cover.

ilbasso
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Posts: 1494
From: Greensboro, NC USA
Registered: Feb 2006

posted 08-25-2011 09:33 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ilbasso   Click Here to Email ilbasso     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Two of my favorite photos are the liftoff of STS-27 and the overhead shot of the rollout of STS-79.

Hart Sastrowardoyo
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Posts: 2123
From: Toms River, NJ,USA
Registered: Aug 2000

posted 08-26-2011 03:03 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Hart Sastrowardoyo   Click Here to Email Hart Sastrowardoyo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by ilbasso:
My question is prompted by a friend who will be visiting the ASF show in November for the first time. He wants to get a photo signed by as many Shuttle astronauts as he can, and he asked for suggestions as to what that photo should be. I looked at the flight histories of each of the astronauts coming to ASF, and there isn't a single Orbiter that was common to all of them.

If you can find a shot of the shuttle landing or lifting off where the name of the orbiter either isn't visible or barely visible, that might work. A night landing, for example, signed in silver pen.

Otherwise, don't worry too much about getting the "right" photo signed. I have a Charles Brady signed photo of a shuttle landing, and when I flipped the photo over, I saw that Brady had used a photo from STS-71, not -78.

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