Epic Storm hits NASA before shuttle launch

A Long Day on the Cape

I’ll talk all about my day at NASA in a later post… I’m super-duper tired… but I wanted to share this photo I just took of a massive storm sweeping over the complex on the evening before the launch.

I was supposed to be going over to the actual launch pad as night was falling to get a shot, but this storm started to roll in, upsetting those plans. The big structure you see on the other side of the flag is the Vehicle Assembly Building, and that blue structure you see to the left is the famous countdown-clock you always see in front of the press area before the launch.

Right as I was taking this, an official lady from NASA ran into the field warning me that this was now a “Level 2 lightning alert!” I happen to be standing by another NASA Tweetup invitee, Lavar Burton. He asked, “Is that like a Level 3 diagnostic?” Greatness. He was a really cool guy, btw… I put up a photo of us together over on my Facebook Page.

HDR Photo

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  • Patrick Ahles

    Wow, spectacular! Keep us updated!

  • Simon Morris

    Amazing shot Trey – fingers and toes crossed the weather behaves and the launch goes ahead, I’m sure you’ll capture some amazing images… can’t wait!
    Must dash, I’ve a wedding to watch… tally-ho! πŸ™‚

  • Trey, can’t tell you how envious I am of you guys right now… Seeing a shuttle launch has been one of my dreams for a long time!
    That assembly building is an immense structure, as is the launch pad. Really puts extreme engineering into perspective.
    My latest HDR is at the opposite end of this spectrum, a simple dandelion through a magnifying glass… Just throwing it out there for a bit of contrast against the sheer awesomeness of that storm, haha… http://www.flickr.com/photos/edenbrackstone/5660932256/
    Best of luck for the launch, look foreword to hearing all about it!

  • You lucky man!!!!! We tried seeing one inNovember but it ended up being scrubbed.
    Now I am afraid I will never get to see one.

  • That is one spectacular image!
    Lavar Burton’s comment is an absolute classic!
    Thanks for sharing both

  • Gail in Montana

    Wow, what a privilege to see the last space shuttle(I think) take off. Glad you got a shot in before that awful storm hit!!! Really sad that 297 people were killed in the killer tornadoes this week. At least that was the count as of this morning. The most tornadoes in April in recorded history, 600 and counting, to ever happen in the U.S. May isn’t here yet, sure hope that’s the end of them!!
    Prayers for everyone effected in any way by the storms, very very sad! πŸ™
    Enough doom and gloom, hope everyone has a great weekend. Be safe and God bless πŸ™‚

  • Good old Florida Thuder Storms – welcome to Florida Trey!

  • What a great experience Trey! Wonder how many levels of storms they have. Looking forward to seeing more photos!

  • Michele

    Great shot!

    Storm cells in America look so menacing with that cloud ridge. Can’t say that I’ve noticed storms that look like this in Europe – or maybe I just haven’t been in the right place!

  • Just great the shot…. an other question -where is the Android app πŸ˜‰

  • Andrew

    So excited to see your shots from the launch, Tivo’ing the launch to watch with my 3 year old after work. I do echo Phil’s sentiment… where’s the Android app Trey πŸ™‚

  • casusan

    Wow!! What a storm! Have fun at the launch today – am going to watch on tv at lunch!


  • Andrea Boyle

    Great shot from last night, Trey but got the bad news about the scrub today, BUMMER! Are you going to stay there for Monday’s window?

  • Spectacular storm photo, Trey! Where ever you go, it seams you are like a magnet for stunning photos. πŸ™‚

  • Wow an epic storm indeed – very, very exciting though πŸ™‚

    I took my own HDR of a rocket a few days ago – Fortunately this one won’t be launching any time soon…..I hope, hehe!


  • Fantastic shot. Hope you are staying for the next launch window. Can’t wait to see photos of that.

  • Thank you!

  • Wow, that storm is amazing! Sorry that you didn’t get to see the launch today, though. Thanks for sharing (I noticed that you weren’t tweeting as much as some of the other tweetup folks… too busy with your camera is what I figured, heehee). Sounds like an amazing couple of days, launch or not!

  • Rob

    I scoured the forums for photography advice in advance of my first (and only) shuttle launch in Feb… I think the best advice I read was to just put down the camera and enjoy the launch since photos from 7 miles away will never look good. My attempt was… well, meh: http://backfromleave.com/wp-content/gallery/travel/shuttle-launch-001.jpg

    Looking forward to your captures from a much better vantage point!

  • Sorry you didn’t get to see the launch. I’m now hearing the earliest they will launch would be Monday afternoon. I’ve gone over to Bethune Beach to shoot some night launches before, only to discover it was scrubbed. Never have gotten a launch photo, and I live here.

  • Great shot of the launch area. Those storm clouds really look awesome.
    Looking forward to some of the others you’ll post.

  • Trey,

    Great to see you at the #NASATweetup! Sorry we didn’t get to see the launch, but fingers crossed for Monday…

    I am sure you’ll be posting a bunch more photos from Kennedy Space Center, as will I.



  • Top 5 Reasons Trey Couldn’t shoot the Space Shuttle Launch.

    #5 – THE NFL –
    Those dudes couldn’t allow their coverage of the draft to get upstaged by some mind blowing shot Trey would have taken of a Shuttle Launch so they probably bribed the current administration to pull the plug. That darn Obama!

    #4 – Iain winning the CS5 contest.
    It threw the Space/Time Continuum out of balance. Way to go Trey.
    You got nobody to blame but yourself.

    And Speaking of Time travel –
    #3 – NASA is actually part of the Federation.
    “Sure. But what does this have to do with Captain Trey and the canceled NASA launch?”, you ask.
    EVERYTHING! As you know, the closer an object gets to the speed of light, the object actually experiences time at a mucho slower rate.
    So as part of the Mega-Huge Federation NASA has a problem. They are attempting to function from with-in an intergalactic organization that has various parts traveling at light speed, thus altering time and other parts remaining static, thus maintaining time at it’s current rate. How are these disparate pieces all supposed to stay on track? They can’t! NASA in fact has to fight the urge has to travel at the speed of light just to keep their astronauts in sync with Federation time. Yet at the same time, they also must reach speeds faster than that of light in order to move around the universe in an efficient manner.
    So, every once and awhile things get out of whack. In fact way more often than you’d believe. So if it seems that NASA is canceling launches all the time – now you know why. It has nothing to do with random bad luck with weather, others than…

    #2 – High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program –

    That’s right people. We’re talking Weather Modification. NASA, in an attempt to explain away why they are constantly having to cancel launches (because they don’t want to get into the Space/Time stuff) are using the HAARP program to dust up storms over Canaveral all the time. Oh sure! Like it’s just random how often a big storm cancels a launch? Phhhewt! Right.

    And the #1 Reason Trey Couldn’t shoot the Space Shuttle Launch –
    Lavar Burton! That snarky comment he slid under the radar about Level 3 diagnostics must not have gone un-noticed. You think the ueber-terrestrial hyper nerds at NASA appreciate a Trekkie mocking them? These people are anal! Do you think it’s an accident that an anagram for NASA is ANAS?
    BTW – an anagram for National Aeronautics and Space Administration is “Aim is to land pods in/near USA, Can do it? No, It can’t.” Guess they can’t launch them for Trey either.
    They sure got a lot of nerve.

  • Awesome image, what a huge storm cloud!!! Are you planning on staying until they launch, looks like it’s delayed now until May 8th.

  • Sam J

    I was at Kennedy during this storm– wasn’t sure the rental Prius could get through this storm so we headed to cocoa beach for dinner instead of orlando….

    Anyways, Trey, so wierd– I just started reading your blog a few days ago and then I see you shooting at the Cape later in the week. I didn’t realize it was you until I saw this post, what a small world. Oh well, keep up the good work!

  • Wow, great shot! Amazing to see from a distance.

  • Jim

    Just beginning with HDR and trying to learn the ropes.
    Thanks for all the guidance and tips.
    If you are not going to Kennedy for the rescheduled launch, I could use a Press Pass.
    Thanks again for all the Help.

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  • ramon h leigh

    We have a whole lot more to shoot here than just the stuff at Cape Canaveral.
    I have a photo of the shuttle at night from NASA Goddard in MD that is unsurpassed.
    You wasted your time trying to improve on that one. Not even close.

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