In early 2001 during a launch of Atlantis, the Sun, Earth, Moon, and rocket were all properly aligned for this photogenic coincidence. First, for the space shuttle’s plume to cast a long shadow, the time of day must be either near sunrise or sunset. Only then will the shadow be its longest and extend all the way to the horizon. Finally, during a Full Moon, the Sun and Moon are on opposite sides of the sky. Just after sunset, for example, the Sun is slightly below the horizon, and, in the other direction, the Moon is slightly above the horizon. Therefore, as Atlantis blasted off, just after sunset, its shadow projected away from the Sun toward the opposite horizon, where the Full Moon just happened to be.
In a photograph taken from the space shuttle Columbia that’s astonishing for its clarity and breathtaking beauty, Chile and the Andes mountains look close enough to touch, while the perfect blue curve of the Earth’s atmosphere against the black void of space looks at once incredibly fragile and eternal. (via LIFE)
Absolutely Incredible! Booster Camera Video of Atlantis Launch.
Cameras mounted on the two solid rocket boosters that helped propel space shuttle Atlantis into orbit on July 8 provide unique angles of the launch from the Kennedy Space Center and their subsequent water landing downrange in the Atlantic Ocean.