Welcome to the Loch Ness Productions Endeavour launch video. We created this to show our friends, families, and colleagues some selected scenes from our launch experience at NASA's Kennedy Space Center on May 15-17, 2011.
We were fortunate to be accredited as press for STS-134, Endeavour's final launch. Carolyn's main job was to provide stories for Sky & Telescope's web site (skyandtelescope.com). Mark's task was to provide images to illustrate the stories.
We also took the opportunity to shoot fulldome video of several events: the rotating service structure retract the day before launch; astronaut walkout early the morning of liftoff; the launch itself; and the rollout of space shuttle Atlantis the day after launch.
Our all-sky camera is the Canon 5DMkII with a Sigma 8mm fisheye lens. Video was shot using a Sony Handycam HD 1080 camera and an HP Powershot A480 digital camera. Both the Canon and HP were also used for still shots.
Covering a launch as a media professional means jostling with hundreds of other media professionals to get "the best shot" at any given event. It's not always possible to get an optimal position, or even to set up a tripod in some crowded areas. At RSS retract, we set up the Canon on a tripod and shot timelapse. We used the Sony Handycam as a handheld source for video, in conjunction with the HP Powershot during the hour or so we were out at Launch Pad 39A.
We used the same setup for astronaut walkout, which took place just after 5 a.m. on the morning of launch. For liftoff (at 8:56 a.m.), we had both the Canon and the Sony on tripods, and shot stills with the HP. Atlantis rollout was covered with the Canon on a tripod and the Sony and HP handheld.
The final credits scene is the fulldome video of the launch. The actual frames are 4k full-circle fisheyes; we have cropped and zoomed in on them for this video. Frame rate for launch ended up being a little less than 2fps; we frame-blended them in Adobe After Effects for smoother movie viewing.
We hope you enjoy our experiences.
Mark and Carolyn Collins Petersen
Written and produced by Mark and Carolyn Collins Petersen
Voice-over: Carolyn Collins Petersen
Fulldome photography: Mark C. Petersen
Videography: Mark and Carolyn Collins Petersen
Still images: Mark and Carolyn Collins Petersen
The soundtrack features Geodesium music, composed by Mark C. Petersen. The two cuts are from the album "Music from SpacePark360", copyright 2010, Loch Ness Productions
Special thanks to the wonderful media folk at the Kennedy Space Center and to Robert Naeye, Editor-in-chief, Sky & Telescope