Slugline

Simple, elegant screenwriting.

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  • Panasonic LUMIX DMC-GH4KBODY 16.05MP Digital Single Lens Mirrorless Camera with 4K Cinematic Video (Body Only)
    Panasonic LUMIX DMC-GH4KBODY 16.05MP Digital Single Lens Mirrorless Camera with 4K Cinematic Video (Body Only)
    Panasonic
  • TASCAM DR-100mkII 2-Channel Portable Digital Recorder
    TASCAM DR-100mkII 2-Channel Portable Digital Recorder
    TASCAM
  • The DV Rebel's Guide: An All-Digital Approach to Making Killer Action Movies on the Cheap (Peachpit)
    The DV Rebel's Guide: An All-Digital Approach to Making Killer Action Movies on the Cheap (Peachpit)
    by Stu Maschwitz
Tuesday
May172011

3, 2, 1... Lunch

So the Space Shuttle Endeavor launched for the last time yesterday morning, and I wasn’t there to see it. But two weeks ago I was at the Kennedy Space Center for the first launch attempt, and the experience was truly amazing, even without a launch.

I met some great people, including the talented and brilliant Trey Ratcliff of Stuck In Customs. Here he is shooting the Vehicle Assembly Building, or Very Awesome Building as I like to call it.

The VAB is something I’d always wanted to see, and to be able to tour the inside was something I’d only dreamed of. Here’s a shot looking straight up at the ceiling. There are 520 feet between my lens and those skylights.

My favorite thing about the VAB is its history. It was built to allow vertical (the original V) assembly of the Saturn V rockets used in the Apollo missions. So it’s not a pristine, new building. It’s littered with hints at its stunning past in facilitating the single greatest accomplishment of our species. Check out this little hallway you use to access the elevators. It’s like something from the set of a John Carpenter movie in the ’80s.

I got close to Endeavor, but didn’t actually see much of her because of the Rotating Service Structure that protects the orbiter on the pad.

I did witness something historic. This was the first launch scrub that occured while the atronauts were in-route to the launch pad. We watched them drive by in their Astrovan (yes), pause at the VAB, and then turn around and head back! Only then did we realize the launch had been scrubbed.

Experiencing the reality of the difficulties and unprecictability of space flight was a bittersweet end to my trip to KSC, but the experience as a whole was something I’ll rememebr forever.

More shots in my flickr set here. Trey went back and totally owned the launch, see his shots here (I particularly love the B&W).

Reader Comments (4)

The size of that place is seriously wicked.
Glad to hear the update.

May 17, 2011 | Registered CommenterAlex Mack

A good documentary about the culture around the early United States space program is "Growing Up With Rockets" from 1985.

Some space related websites have a streaming version.

The odd fact, experimental filmmaker (and my first film teacher) Robert Edgar is the kid on the VHS cover.

May 17, 2011 | Registered CommenterGrant Ellis

When I visited Canaveral in 1998, I remember being told that the red and white stripes of the US flag on the side of the building were wide enough to drive a bus along... if a bus could drive up the side of a building...

May 18, 2011 | Registered CommenterSimon Eves

Impressive images and recap. A historic moment indeed. The assembly building was closed when I visited but this recap helped fill the gap, what an incredible engineering marvel.

Today it was proposed by an Apollo 17 Astronaut that NASA should be dismantled and replaced with NSEA National Space Exploration Administration. His reasoning and plea is sound and it would be great if all of that could be achieved without destroying NASA itself.

May 25, 2011 | Registered CommenterJames Benet
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