Final Night of the Space Shuttle


Today: Google+ Hangout Live from NASA at 11:15 EST

Join me on Google+ today at exactly 11:15 AM when I’ll be doing a LIVE Video Hangout. Only a limited number of people can get in, so be ready to click to join the hangout! New to this stuff? Here are some video hangout tips I made.

Yesterday I did a very cool live broadcast video hangout from NASA with Google+. We had people from all over the world connecting while I was on video on my laptop approaching the launch pad. We all went through a few levels of security together (I made everyone be quiet), then we approached the VAB, saw some of the media center, before finally getting to the launch pad. I’ll do another live Google+ Hangout tomorrow during my setup and you guys can ask questions…or just…hangout!

Interview with Scoble

Robert Scoble is here with me at the NASA event (along with many other people). After a little #NASATweetup session yesterday, he grabbed me for a quick interview about photography (click link to listen), and how I was planning to this trip in particular. Enjoy!

Daily Photo – Final Night of the Space Shuttle

I was completely soaked after laying in mosquito-invested waters for an uncomfortably long time. At one point, a concerned French news reporter came up to me and said, “Excuse me, but you’re quite covered in bugs.” It must have been pretty bad for him to come over and say that… I think perhaps he thought I was dead because I stayed in the same position for so long, trying to zen-focus on the shot.

This is the Space Shuttle Atlantis, in case you do not know. It’s also the final space shuttle launch, ever. So, it’s incredibly special, and I’m happy I got to spend time with the ship on its final night.

HDR Photo

Bonus Photo – The Countdown Clock at Sunrise

And this is the famous countdown clock. Scott Kublin and I woke up before 5 AM to start setting up our remote cameras. One of them Leo Laporte Fed-exed to me overnight so we could have time to set it up… we put those inside the blast zone and set them up to automatically fire at the launch. We made a behind-the-scenes video to show how everything was done… it will be edited and shared soon… but, in the meantime, here is what I saw first thing in the morning upon arrival to NASA.

The Countdown Clock at Sunrisethis is the famous countdown clock. Scott Kublin and I woke up before 5 AM to start setting up our remote cameras. One of them Leo Laporte Fed-exed to me overnight so we could have time to set it up… we put those inside the blast zone and set them up to automatically fire at the launch. We made a behind-the-scenes video to show how everything was done… it will be edited and shared soon… but, in the meantime, here is what I saw first thing in the morning upon arrival to NASA.- Trey RatcliffRead the whole entry here at the Stuck in Customs blog.

Daily Photo – Test daily photos – 1

Blurb number 1

Test daily photos – 1

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • Camera
  • Camera Make
  • Exposure Time
  • Aperturef/3.5
  • ISO400
  • Focal Length50mm (50mm in 35mm)
  • Flashflash did not fire
  • Exposure Programaperture priority
  • Exposure Bias

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  • Spike

    Awesome, lucky you! Happy late bday!!

  • Thelonious Gonzo

    Holy Crap Bat Trey!
    Both of those shots are just amazing!
    Especially considering that a 14601 day old took it.

  • Thelonious Gonzo

    You can hate the pixel police all you want Trey, but anyone who doesn’t zoom in on the original is really missing out. This is so clean and so crisp. It almost doesn’t even look real. Looks like a model. Second best pic you’ve posted this year IMO.

  • Kelley Bard

    Thanks for sharing your experiences and photos of this event, It’s a sad moment but exciting to see. Lovely images, btw. I’ll zoom in on the first shot as Thelonious suggests… perfect colors and great images. And a happy birthday, again!

  • Derek

    Thanks for risking your life for that first shot Trey! Both look awesome, I love the reflection on the first one, and the bright gold sun shining on the blue colored clouds. Also, I’ve been trying to accept my invite to Google+ but every time I check the site, they’re full. Hopefully I’ll have some luck soon, Im really excited about the chance to to a video hangout, sounds awesome!

  • Susan

    Wonderful shots Trey – Atlantis looks so beautiful – and the ‘clock’ shot is super cool! Enjoyed your interview!! Looking forward to more photos and stories of your adventure – know you are happy!

  • PeterG

    Epic shots of a historic moment (the launch, not your birthday). Just read in the morning paper that the launch is threatened due to bad weather. Keeping my fingers crossed.

  • Andy Bird

    That image of Atlantis at the top has all the hallmarks of an iconic photo! Very special indeed!

  • Eden Brackstone

    Very special shots here mate, I agree with Andy’s statement… I’m sad to see the shuttle end it’s service, and perhaps sadder that I never got to witness a launch first hand :(

  • Filip Farag

    Is there a way too see the hangouts afterwards? I’m new to this Google+ thing so I don’t really know. Epic shot Trey, I would give anything to be there now. It’s the final space shuttle launch, you must be super-excited! I can’t imagine a better present for birthday. :)

  • Vicki Wilson

    This Atlantis shot is awesome, I love the colors and especially the reflections in the water!!! It is sad to think this is the final countdown, but how exciting for you to be there!

  • http://none casper

    Both shots are amazing, but most things come to an end and who knows how much damage we have really done up there. There is now so much junk that they have to plan to send things up to make sure that no lives are lost as its possible they could collide.Besides there is nothing we need up there, we cannot manage what we have on earth because of greed, until man wakes up which I doubt, it will be to late anyway to save what we have. I know all this has made millions but now that its ended how many millions have we squandered for the sake of pride.

  • http://Facebook jane davis

    Thanks Trey…………I am re-posting to share your magical pictures….WE APPRECIATE YOU!!!!!!!!FANTASTIC:)XXOO

  • Trey Ratcliff

    Thanks everyone!

    Filip – I’ll try to record the session and share it back with everyone later… no promises, but I’ll do my best.

  • Jimi Jones

    Totally awesome!
    Great work as always,

  • Patrick Ahles

    Super shot, Trey! So clean and crisp. Beautiful colors!

  • Simon Morris

    Wonderful photos Trey – they both sum up the atmosphere perfectly! Its a real shame this will be the last space shuttle launch ever… puts a lump in your throat… sigh! :-(

  • don rexroad

    reflections!just when i thought there were no new places to set a tripod, you found one, just beautiful. don

  • greg urbano

    farewell space shuttle!
    having seen the first 7 or so shuttle launches from my front yard ( living in titusville, attending beleive it or not – astronaut high school) it is a sad day to see this workhorse retired, good luck to all the space center employees who made this program a success and are now looking for work :(

  • Ken Toney

    I will purchase a print of this Trey, if interested DM me on twitter, I mentioned it several times while talking with RC last night.

  • Gail in Montana

    Wow, great shots!!! Thanks for sharing your story and photos!! I saved both of them in My Pictures, dated so I would know when the last send off was. Have a wonderful Friday. Take care out there. :-)

  • Alastair

    Incredible shots. Love the count down clock

  • Keith Moyer

    Beautiful shots! Glad you could be there to capture it.

  • http:[email protected]/ Bruce

    Awesome work Trey! Hope it’s a go today. Still 2 hours away. Oh and Happy Belated Birthday my friend.

  • Richard Gosdin

    Really amazing shots Trey. Thanks for sharing.

  • Sharon Thomas

    Love the reflection image!

  • Richard (oldhickory49)

    Both beautiful shots! And remote cameras “inside the blast zone”?? How cool is that? Sheesh, I can’t wait to see this stuff.

  • Bill Dodd

    great stuff!!

  • ElaineM

    This is just gorgeous!

  • dale_coz

    Just watched the launch, then came to your site. I was expecting something special, but, these are just INCREDIBLE shots! I got blown away twice in one day. Thanks for sharing! Please add them to your print list.

  • Tom Kostes

    Really great image Trey.

  • Linda

    OH WOW! and I had to settle on watching the launch at work with the volume off and the badly spelled words in the center of the screen (those in charge haven’t figured out how to re-position the text). Please let us know when the shuttle image is ready to order I’m definitely interested.

  • Michael Smith

    What a fantastic shot Trey, wish i was there to see this historic event take place.

  • LightningPaul

    Superb shot of the space shuttle. Reflection in the water is awesome too.

  • Harbles

    And a video from CNN of all the veteran KSC photographers and their remote camera set ups may bring back memories of your experience and put any failures in perspective as it takes years to perfect the technique.

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